Friday, 7 December 2012

a peek inside my head right now

I love being a mum. And I love staying at home with my kids. And I wouldn’t change the way our life is now for the world. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder ‘what if’.

Seeing all my friends finish up another year with their classes, getting excited to see who is going to be in their class next year… I must admit I feel a tad jealous. I taught for a year, but I didn’t get any of that. I loved DE, I loved stretching myself in writing curriculum (I still can’t believe that I achieved writing an entire distance education curriculum for a year level!) and learning about and delivering education in an e-learning context. It was exciting and hard work, but I missed kids. Distance Education is like a whole other job from teaching in a regular classroom, and you miss the part where you actually get to see kids have their ah-huh moments, and for me that’s where a whole lot of the job satisfaction comes from. Seeing a bunch of kids learn and develop soooo many new skills over a period of year, and being able to look back and see how far you’ve brought them. That is something I’m yet to experience, and I yearn for it.

I’m in a weird place in my head, because I love being at home with my kids and don’t want to miss out on this time with them. I’m not begrudging my current life choices, but I just want to know what that feels like. I don’t want to get to the point when all my kids are finally in school and I can go back only to find that my skill set is wrong…. I guess I’m scared that maybe they won’t have me. I have concerns that my only experience since graduating is in distance education and e-learning, and that potential future employers will look at the big gaping hole of classroom and behaviour management experience. I don’t won’t to be pegged into that one field, because as much as I enjoyed my work there, it didn’t give me that vocational satisfaction that I went into this career for.

I’m so proud of my husband. He’s working in a job that, let’s face it, pays far less and has longer hours and shorter holidays than he really could be entitled to as a qualified teacher. And to top that off, he has to do further TAFE study to be qualified properly for the early childhood field (go figure). But he loves his job, and has great job satisfaction and can see himself being a kindergarten educator long term. I think he’s awesome. And as the kindergarten program gains momentum and parents begin to see it’s importance in preparing their children for the Australian Curriculum Prep Year (which is much more akin to what year one used to be than what we remember as ‘preschool’), I know that more and more schools will implement their own kindergarten programs, and it’s not unreasonable to foresee that he could end up teaching in his preferred field in an actual school and getting the award that he really does deserve.

What a ramble. I guess I’m just feeling a bit sad today, and the pessimistic side of me is wondering why I bothered with five years of studying when no one wants me. Which is ridiculous I know. I have chosen the position that I am in right now, and there’s no saying that someone wouldn’t employ me if I started applying for jobs tomorrow. Maybe I’m too scared to in case I do get rejected. Mostly I’m happy to stay at home, but I do want to put my feelers out and keep my skills up to make sure that in a few more years, when I’m ready to get back out there, someone will have me. I am a good teacher. I know that I am. I just need to have a chance to prove it.. to myself mostly.

Until then, I’ll be here window shopping online at postgraduate certificates and diplomas that might help to expand my skillset a little, and next year I’ll get the ball rolling with my Education Queensland registration so that I can try and pick up a bit of supply work and classroom experience, and money to fund said further education (yikes is it expensive!). I’ll be back out there. One day I will. In the meantime I’ll just concentrate on the most important teaching job I’ll ever have: being a Mama.


  1. Couldn't agree more Zoey, I think this about supply teaching often. I love love love longer term contracts when they come up because you get to see the learning in those children, you get to know them and find out what works well for them. I love my job, it's very challenging and never ever boring or the 'same' but it would be mighty nice to take a class from the beginning of the year until the end and see what you can achieve with them!

    I'm sure God has got His perfect timing for when you'll step into the classroom full time (maybe to teach one of your little munchkins too hehe!)You'll be such an amazing and inspiring teacher!!!!!!

  2. I think there'll always be a tension between raising kids (which is a fairly thankless job, with no career progression or any measure by which we can rate our achievement in the short-term) and the things which we found achievement in or even just found ourselves passionate about before kids. I've looked at studying all sorts of things since having kids, just to keep my brain switched on, or to have an outlet where I do more than scold and play pretend and talk to preschoolers all day. But I find it really hard, and have had to put alot of desires on hold. Maybe it's just part of the sacrifice of having kids, it's not just a physical thing but mental as well....
    But all that to say, I'm with you, hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I mean, who would believe our girlies are nearly 4!?

  3. I think you are awesome. For starters, I've been at home full time with the kids now for- about three weeks, and I'm going slowly insane. I was not cut out to be a full time stay at home mother, and without study (or paid employment), I'm bored and restless.

    I graduate in about a year, and I'm already thinking about what jobs I can do that balance my family obligations and with my husbands unique job requirements.

    Okay, so another blog comment that's all about me. I must stop doing this.

    I think it's a good idea to be open to working while you are staying at home, whilst also not being stressed about it. I've always found that once I've started looking for works, jobs have just presented themselves one way or another. God's got you covered on this, like on all things. If you feel strongly that He's leading you to stay at home, go gusto for that and trust in Him to provide you the right job once you've finished the really hands on baby years. If you feel an itch to go back to work, then trust in Him to find you the right job.

  4. I was in a similar position to you. When I graduated I went straight into eLearning, and did that for 3 years. I found that it wasn't a problem in getting relief work though, and I did that for a year. I was fairly confident that had I actually wanted to work (I was pregnant that year I did relief, and planned to stay home with the baby, so wasn't interested in full time work), that I would have stood a good chance. I think you can word your CV in such a way that it says the elearning stuff you've done is VERY beneficial to a classroom environment! ;-)

    Don't fret. :-) Consider relief teaching & contracts as a way to get some of the 'normal classroom' experience before going into full time.
    Tomorrow or the next day I'm sure you'll be back to never wanting to return to work. ;-)


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