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.