Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I'd never make a good teacher

When my wife died I immediately ceased full-time employment to look after our then seven month-old-son.

It was a complete no-brainer. I'm good at those.

I wanted to provide the level of parental contact my son would have got if things had continued along our planned path rather than off on a tragic meander.

And while he was my only priority, and is still my number one priority, thoughts of what I may do for employment couldn’t be, and weren’t, ignored.

I had lots of folks suggest teaching.

“It matches well with being a parent.”

Term-time checkbox ticked.

“You are great with children.”

Yes, but does that mean I can teach them?

“There’s a great pension…”

I think we’ll leave that one there.

It’s true that I am comfortable with kids, and that – in general – I engage well with them, and put smiles on their faces. But teach? Nah, I’m no teacher.

Too easily distracted, forgetting the exact purpose for doing something. My lesson planning, and execution of such would be scarily bad.

There’s a lot of inadvertent teaching I do, especially with my own child, but actually being paid to be responsible for a child’s formal education? I don’t think so.

I don’t even know my phonics.

However my son’s school asked if I’d go in and try to get some of their reluctant readers more engaged with their literacy learning.

As someone who didn’t enjoy English at school (yeah, I know, obvious from my krass (sic) writing skillz) but now gets paid to put finger-to-keyboard, that I would be able to emphasise, and thus the children with me. Hopefully.

So a few posts ago I asked for your help, as I’d been asked to go back into the classroom.

I got some fabulous advice, and today I had to put it all into action.

Scary stuff.

My session actually went really well.

I tried to explain what sort of writing jobs I do – not really interested.

I showed them some examples of my writing – mild interest.

I showed them this video of Max and I enjoying Disney’s Enchanted Christmas at Disneyland Paris.

Respectable amount of interest (to subside my massive cringes, gosh I have such a way with words).

Then I got them to review toys that I’ve previously been sent to consider.

Really interested.

I suppose in general – and overall - I demonstrated that reading and writing isn’t boring. It’s what you are reading and writing about that adds any intrigue.

Read what you enjoy, write what you enjoy, but don't ignore the hard work that will allow either of those things to happen.

It really was good fun, there were things that worked, things that didn’t, things that could have been pitched better, but I definitely got the feeling of it being a useful exercise for some of the children.

That all typed, it isn't something I will be repeating any time soon.

Teachers, you have my respect. I just wish you’d give up with the moaning about your jobs.

Is that me moaning about moaning BTW?