Own What You Do, It’s okay to be a relief teacher

Own what you do. I recently read a blog post by Vanessa Hiser @VanessaHiser titled: Teachers Without Work – A Self-help Guide http://t.co/Zq3UomGByg. This post spoke to me at a time when I felt low due to poor health and not having anything other than relief work for the year ahead. Picking up the odd contract here and there, but never over multiple school years.

One quote that definitely resonated with me is “Being a talented, qualified and enthusiastic teacher with no job is an emotional, professional and financial BIG DEAL”. It does matter to me and I do feel let down by not getting a job and being able to provide for my family the way that i would like to. This is a career choice that I have made and a profession that I wish to pursue for the rest of my working life. Teaching has provided me with a sense of purpose in what I do unlike working in a supermarket, which I did for 13 years. I enjoy and look forward to the challenge of teaching, working with and being inspired by students.
I have read many posts lately about negative mindset and avoiding the downfall of thinking the worse. This is particularly hard when you don’t know where the next days work is coming from. Why you don’t get selected for jobs and interviews. You doubt yourself and your abilities. The worst is when you look at yourself and your skillset then believe that the reason you don’t get jobs is because people just don’t like you. You then doubt everything about yourself and your career choice. It is a long way to come back from there and be positive.

I have come to peace with where I am at, to OWN WHAT YOU DO. I am a relief teacher and that is okay, I provide a valuable service, if there wasn’t a need for what i do then the position would not exist. This is not something that I want to do always, but as Dr. John C. Maxwell talks about in facing adversity, I can do anything temporarily. There are benefits to what I do, I see a wide variety of kids and hopefully get to have a positive impact in their lives. I learn constantly about new situations lessons and ideas from other teachers and classes. I have seen and experienced many school cultures and classroom spaces that feed into ideas that I will take forward with me.

I am a physical education specialist, but the experiences I have gained working in many varied classroom environments has provided me with skills and experience that I would not have otherwise gained. I am prepared more for  future where I can be either a subject specialist or a primary classroom generalist. I am very excited about the possibilities and freedoms that you have a classroom teacher in a primary school. Traditional high school settings in subject silos allow for less cross curricular work than can be easily achieved in a primary setting. Technology offers so many potential benefits to learning that I now get to explore and learn about.

I get to enjoy more family time than I would if I was a full time teacher. I can pursue more personalised learning opportunities on subjects that interest me in my free time.

There were three points that I took from her writing post about what to do now whilst waiting for more work: to blog/write, learn to code, and engage with twitter. I am reengaging with blogging again, I made a few posts last year but then lost the habit and discipline to continue. This makes me think more, read more, and to personally engage with learning. Learn to code has been on my radar for awhile but will be an activity that I pursue this year. I have been on Twitter for  few years, started lurking a bit last year but now I am starting to actively engage with people and content on Twitter. Twitter offers many learning opportunities that i am trying to pursue, following my interests and areas I believe I need to improve in.

Own what you do, be what you are. I am a relief teacher and that is okay. I will use this to to advance my personal learning and to improve my skill set. This is my first blog posts for the year 2015, but it will not be my last. I have enjoyed the  journey with the many educators I have connected with on twitter. Please continue to inspire and share.

Simon Youd
The #reliefteacher


2 thoughts on “Own What You Do, It’s okay to be a relief teacher

  1. Pingback: Trying to stay relevant as a relief teacher | Teaching Reflections

  2. Pingback: Trying to stay relevant as a relief teacher - #aussieED

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