Teaching doesn’t get easier the longer you do it !

I work with professionals who have been teaching for many years – they are what you would call ‘experienced’.  I have much less experience, in fact, only a few as a classroom teacher.  I have however, worked in education for many years whilst in a variety of roles.

Driving home today after a successful day, I decided that it doesn’t get easier the longer you do it.  True, an experienced teacher may handle discipline and classroom management issues with more confidence than a newcomer but when it comes to planning for the education of the children in your charge and then executing that plan – no year is easier than the next.

When we seek to plan personalised learning for our students we cannot rest on any laurels.  Each week, month or term, presents an opportunity for unique lessons and learning opportunities.   Each new group of children present a different dynamic to the teaching environment.   Last years term plan cannot be brought out and re-gurgitated (as I believe happened in the past).   I presume this is not news to the readers of this blog.  I think back to my days at school in the 1970’s when I know every year the Grade 5’s studied Gold – used the same texts, went on the same excursions and then produced the same ‘projects’ (a word I prefer not to use anymore).

Thankfully, nowadays we tailor the learning to the group around us – create learning opportunities that then allow them to make inquiries that are meaningful to them – they then illustrate their learning in a variety of ways.   This ‘teaching’ is not easy – in fact it is messy, noisy, busy but also lots of fun!

So, I look at the professionals with whom I work and understand that whilst they are ‘experienced’ teachers, I ‘get’ why they are sometimes overwhelmed or exhausted.  It is because they are striving to re-invent their trade every day/week/term/year.  There is very little static in the school environment and thankfully we have so many people who are resilient enough to come along for the ride.

7 thoughts on “Teaching doesn’t get easier the longer you do it !

  1. I certainly don’t regurgitate anything from previous years. I agree every new class is different and every year brings new challenges. But I believe teaching does get easier. The pieces fit together and all the things you have read and shared and experienced and learned all get synthesized.

  2. Hi Celia. I’ve only been a classroom teacher for a few years too. I know teachers who have an even years program and an odd years program. That would drive me crazy I think! It must be very boring for the students who’ve had brothers or sisters go through that class and done exactly the same thing.

    I agree that some things become easier, but, so far at least, I haven’t found the planning and programming any easier. Maybe it’s because I always feel I could have done better! Not sure if that’s a good thing or not 😉

  3. I agree with Ed and Pam !
    Experience should create some confidence and I am sure it does, I guess I was referring to the constant flow of change and learning that makes it not get ‘easier’. I will keep thinking and I love the comments that add to the thinking.

  4. I think it depends on how a teacher defines “easier”.
    For me, understanding teens, feeling confident, learning the curriculum, yes, all get easier over the years. But physically and emotionally it can be tiring and never seems easier. The complex issues that extend way beyond the classroom, that teachers have to deal with, is always hard work.

  5. You raise some good points Celia. The range of new resources and approaches that can be incorporated into classroom teaching today adds much to the teacher’s planning time. Being able to incorporate student initiated ideas also adds a ‘new’ direction to the teaching. For the ‘experienced’ teachers out there, I think, however, that the task is quite complex. In addition to learning about the new – a time consuming process – this group of teachers must then figure out how to incorporate these new approaches into their ‘teaching’. Not an easy ask.

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly Celia! Teaching does not get easier. As an ‘experienced’ teacher, in my 19th year as a classroom teacher (many of those in Prep), I have to say that I am facing more challenges than ever before. So much has changed and there is so much more to planning and ensuring that all our students are engaged and excited about learning. I am often exhausted and overwhelmed at the end of the day, not by classroom management or behavioural issues (well maybe sometimes!) but simply because I am constantly striving to reflect, plan, observe, prepare, share, be flexible and make everything I do purposeful and authentic. As a learner I have so much new knowledge to absorb and apply. It does not get easier.

  7. Hi Celia,
    I so agree with you! I graduated in 1980, oh my god how old does that make me! And the more I know, the more I want to know. I think teaching doesn’t get easier because the longer I am in the game, the more exciting ideas and challenges present themselves. Sure the management gets easier, and the range of experiences and strategies I can draw upon increases, but… the ideas and the opportunities also increase. I don’t find this daunting, I find it envigorating. The latest challenges of personalising learning and working within creative learning spaces are once again making me rethink learning and teaching approaches to meet the needs and interests of all students. What an exciting time we educators live in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *