Throwing my hat out of the ring
This is a very personal post, but it is one I would like to share with you all. On Friday the 7th June 2019, I decided to throw my hat out of the ring. Yes, I went to university, to sign the papers, to withdraw from teacher training. I was studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education (QTS). In February 2018, I flew through the interview and passed the skills tests required to undertake teacher training on my first attempt. However, I was never sure if I would be good enough to teach. I really hoped I was, and I gave it my absolute all. However, teaching is such a multidimensional job. It is like juggling 10 balls in the air at a time. you have to plan, teach the content, evaluate, resource lessons effectively, direct support staff, liaise well with parents, attend meetings, write reports, undertake training and be able to cope with anything that is thrown your way. It is not that I’m not hardworking, I am incredibly hard working. Like many dyspraxics, my positives include sheer determination and a hardworking and focussed attitude.
However, many of my traits were scrutinized, such as my handwriting. I was regularly told my handwriting was not neat enough but if I took too long to write, I was told the children were switching off and my lesson pace was too slow. It seemed impossible for me to fix even with a sheer amount of effort.
Also, as time went on and I became more and more responsible for class teaching, I struggled a lot more with organization, even when I thought I had everything written down in my lesson plan, I would start teaching the lesson and realize, I had not collected something from the staffroom or photocopied one worksheet and it was starting to happen every single lesson. I was focussing so much on getting the content right and thinking how I was actually going to teach the lesson and recording everything in my planning, I found it hard to actually do it, to get everything prepared and ready. It became a downward spiral, towards the end of my teaching journey, I was panicking while teaching every lesson, thinking what was I going to do wrong this time? I cried a lot and felt extremely stressed and unhappy.
I want to support children. I love working with children and helping them learn, I thoroughly enjoy it, but this was just all too much. It is the first time in my life I have ever truly felt disabled. I do think teaching needs to change to support neurodiverse candidates as it would be lovely for children who are neurodiverse to have teachers that know how their brains work but at the moment it just seems impossible.
I do not know what my next role will be, I’m currently knee deep in my job hunting. I would love a role where I could support pupils in their education and/or use my passion for writing. I have been asked whether I would train to teach in the future and the answer is, truthfully, I am uncertain. I liked teaching, but teaching didn’t like me!