A lot of people that know me online or off, incorrectly believe that I’ve moved on from teaching. They see the business that I’ve created, speaking and consulting in the education field, and assume I’ve quit teaching to seek greener pastures.
But I’m here to set the record straight. I’m not an ex-teacher. I am a teacher. And to be specific, I’m an Early Childhood Educator.
I love working with children. I specialise in the birth to eight age range but there’s something so magical about four year olds that captivates me. Over the past seven years my philosophy around teaching and learning has transformed significantly, yet in a setting where movement, freedom and play abounds, I still belong.
My last position working as a preschool teacher was three whole years ago. Employed two days a week, keeping up with Thriving Children, as well as my two, five and six year old, proved incredibly challenging. So much so that I felt torn in pieces. Throw in an unwelcoming colleague and I didn’t last the distance.
This experience gifted me a wonderful realisation: I can do everything, just not right now. With children as my highest value, I decided to stick with business life, moulding it around my family as best as I could. My teaching career would have to wait, until the little ones were at school anyway. Then there’d be time for a little of everything: motherhood, teaching and speaking.
That time has come. My children are all at school. I’ve questioned whether I truly want to return to the education system in it’s current state. Whether I’m OK with missing a few school drop offs and pick ups each week. Whether I’m prepared to have less time to write and create. The answer to all of these is ‘not really’, yet the pull is still there. I’m craving life as an educator.
And not just as a fill in for the ‘real’ teacher, something I’ve been doing a little of this year. I want to be the one who’s in the same place, with the same people each day at work. The one who gets to know children deeply. Who builds relationships with families. Who sees children progress and mature in their year leading up to school.
So, after an enormous amount of mental gymnastics, I’ve applied for a part-time preschool teaching position. I may not get it. I may not even get to the next step in the process. But I’ve clarified that this is what I want.
Blogging and podcasting is fun. And I’ll continue to do these regardless of what happens. So all we can do now is wait, to see what changes next year brings.
Stay with me?
“Being a teacher is not what I do, it’s who I am”. Jill Biden