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.