If this post makes it online, it means one very important thing: I have survived my first term as a primary school teacher. That certainly calls for celebration.
These past 8 weeks I have experienced so many different emotions but most importantly, I’m happy and love my job… Even if I am shattered. I’ve felt tiredness on a level I didn’t even know was possible.
Being a teacher is tough. Being a probationer teacher is tough. There are so many routines and policies and schemes and needs to get your head round. Day one, you’re meeting however many children that are now your responsibility for 5 days a week, 6ish hours a day. No one is standing in your classroom to hold your hand and make sure you, and the students, are okay. Don’t get me wrong, of course there are other people in the building. But, it is daunting. However, it’s true what they say… The job is so rewarding. 8 weeks is not a long time and I’ve already had so many moments that have made the job incredibly worthwhile.
So, what has helped me get through the last 8 weeks? That’s what all new/student teachers want to know.
- Caffeine. You may think this point is a bit of a ‘laugh’, but it’s accurate. I’ve managed to get into a good routine of early nights but caffeine is still needed to perk me up throughout the day. Get yourself a really good thermal flask/mug (thank you Beth for my one!) By the end of week one, I’d lost count of the number of cups of coffee that would have gone cold had it not been for my flask. You get busy and just don’t always have time for your caffeine fix!
- A Great Support Network. My friends and family are so supportive, I couldn’t ask for any more. Whether it’s Ian making me posters to display or worksheets, or just hugging me that little bit tighter when I need it, Beth always being there to listen to to my various rants about how I ‘hate adulting’ and cheering me up, my dad having the kettle on when I get home from school, or my mum making sure I have a good lunch each day… I don’t know how I would have survived term one without the support I have. Of course, I haven’t been able to mention every individual who’s helped over the past few weeks, sorry! But, I hope, you know who you are.
- A fabulous staff team. I feel so blessed to have met the people I have through working at this school. No matter who I speak to, someone is always there to answer a (probably stupid) question, or make me laugh at the end of a day and keep me going. It may be early days but I feel, and hope, that I’ve made some really good friends.
- Routine. I mentioned above that I am in the routine of early nights now. When I was younger I couldn’t wait to be an adult and not have a ‘bedtime’ but the reality really isn’t that exciting. Most nights I’m in bed with a book by 9pm. My alarm in the morning always goes off at the same time too even if I’m planning on going into work a little bit later. Don’t get me wrong, some days I choose an extra 20 minutes in bed but I am still in a routine.
- Me time. This is so important. The last person you will think about is yourself. I don’t feel like you can really ‘switch off’ as a teacher, I’m constantly thinking of other things I can do with my class or strategies I can try for anyone who is struggling with something. So, that said… Me time is vital. Whether it’s something small like taking half an hour to read my book before bed, or something a bit more glam like booking in to get my nails or lashes done… Taking time for yourself is necessary, not selfish.
These five things have majorly helped me through the first term of school. I have loved it but I am very excited it’s now holiday time. I’m ready for long lies, netflix binges, a prosecco (or two), and an amazing trip to Rome with my mumma!
Until next time,