Time to celebrate!

I haven’t spoken much about me in my blog and have focused much more on little projects and activities but today I would like to share a little bit about me and some good news that I received yesterday.

As a child I played ‘schools’ and set up my cuddly toys (and little sisters!) as pupils in my own little classroom in my bedroom. I made textbooks and jotters and turned my wardrobe door into a blackboard. Anyone who came to play at my house was subjected to maths and language lessons and if they were lucky, a little bit of art. Marking all my pupils’ (often imaginary) pieces of work was a task I relished. I had the most fun when I was organising stationery, being bossy and imparting knowledge! Its that age-old cliché – being a teacher is what I have always wanted.

As a teenager I ploughed through school with the one aim of achieving enough Highers to go to university and train as a primary school teacher and that is exactly what I did. I decided to stay in North East Scotland to study since this area was home and my family were close. After a turbulent journey through university (during my studies my dad was ill with cancer, went into remission then fell ill again and sadly died – a story for another day) and 5 years of hard work I graduated in 2008 with 1st class honours in primary education. My dream came true.

I immediately embarked upon my career with my post as a probation teacher (in Scotland all newly qualified teachers are guaranteed 1 year’s work post-qualifying). I opted to move away from home (400 miles away to South West Scotland to be exact!) and found myself in a fantastic school and a beautiful part of the country where I have made some genuine life-long friends. I then secured a 1-year temporary position in a different school in the same area where I had a challenging but brilliant time and again made some lasting friendships.

At this point in my short career jobs suddenly became extremely difficult to secure. Schools were (and still are) receiving anything up to 50 or 60 applications for every post. The competition was very tough and Mr B (still just my fiancé at the time!) and I made the hard decision to move back home to North East Scotland so that if I couldn’t find a job straight away we would have the security of our families being close-by to support us. I was lucky enough to be offered a part-time permanent part-time temporary post as a nursery teacher so I was working full-time and felt that I had some security at last, but alas it was not to be and the local authority withdrew the funding for my post. Cue me panicking about finding another job!

At this time there were no permanent posts being advertised in the area and Mr B and I were determined not to have to uproot ourselves and move away again so I opted for a change in career. At the time I was excited and relished the idea of developing new skills and tackling different challenges so I accepted a permanent post as a residential worker in a children’s home working with the social work team. For the first time in my professional career I was working in an inner city area with high-tariff teenagers who had very complex needs. My journey has been interesting, inspiring, frustrating and demanding but I came to a point, about 6 months ago, where I realised what I really want to do – go back to teaching. I am a teacher through and through and knew I was ready to take what I had learned from my experiences in social work and apply them to my day-to-day practice as a teacher.

I began to apply for permanent teaching posts and receieved invitations to several interviews. I was enthusiastic and motivated and I went to each interview after having studied hard. I was determined to show that I had not only learned new skills but I had also kept up-to-date with developments in the world of educations. Each head teacher called me back and said the same thing – ‘you were really good and we were really impressed but unfortunately there was someone else who just hasn’t had the same time out from teaching that you have had so we are not going to be able to offer you the position’. It became very frustrating. I reached a stage where my motivation levels had dropped completely and I was starting to doubt my own abilities – maybe I really wasn’t cut out for teaching after all!

Here’s where the happy ending comes in. Yesterday I went for my 7th interview in 6 months. The post was as a full-time nursery teacher in a school only 10 miles away. My dream job. I really wanted it but that feeling of ‘you won’t get it’ had started to creep in. I stuttered and stumbled through the interview and forgot what question had been asked 3 times. I was annoyed at myself for acting like an incoherent and babbling fool. I had embarrassed myself. 30 minutes after the interview I received a call from the head teacher. I GOT THE JOB!! I could not (and still cannot) believe that they have hired me! I am absolutely over the moon and I am so excited to be finally going back to teaching. I have missed the creativity and general warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I am in the classroom. I start in 2 weeks time and I absolutely can’t wait!

So, sorry if this post has been too long and has bored you to death, but I really wanted to share my story and my good news with you all. Maybe now I will have an opportunity to share lesson and activity ideas as well as my crafts, cooking and DIY.

(P.S. Keep Calm graphic downloaded free from here)

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4 thoughts on “Time to celebrate!

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