2017 is a new year with a lot of changes for me in my career. I left my previous school at the end of 2016 after having been on staff for 8 years since foundation. I have been asked why I left. It's a hard question to give a concise answer to. I loved that school. I loved the kids I taught. I loved that we were given freedom to innovate and experiment with our practise. However there came a day when I realised that I needed to move on and experience new challenges, get a better work-life balance (is there even such a thing as a teacher?) and to go back to why I wanted to teach in the first place.
As things go, I had my first official Teacher's Only Day at my new school yesterday and this is the question we were asked - What is your Wy? (Wymondley Road....Wy...Why....get it!!). I sometimes feel I fell into teaching because it was meant to be and there are days I feel I did because I didn't know what else to do with my life. I love kids...always have done....probably always will. As a teenager I volunteered as a youth leader at my local YMCA every single school holidays and when I left NZ to go on my OE my first stop was summer camp in the USA. However, it wasn't until I met teachers who were my age and seeing the passion and love for their chosen profession that I believed it was where I wanted to go in life.
Today, I define myself as a teacher. I care about all the kids I've taught, even the ones that have driven my up the wall (especially the ones that have driven me up the wall). I go to work every day to make a difference. It might be to teach a way to solve fractions, open up a fantastical world of literature, to help a kid see their potential. It might be to give a kid a hug, a sandwich, a high five. I've often said that if a kid goes home with a smile on their face and back through our classroom door with a smile then I'm doing my job right. The learning will come.
So what is my why? To make a difference to a kid...What's your why?