Sliding doors and defining moments

In my previous post, I talked about “falling into” being a teacher.  My story is not a story of glamour but rather of common sense and a mother’s wise words.  In Year 12, like many students before me, I didn’t apply myself.  I was more interested in playing basketball than studying and sure enough come TER time, I wasn’t as happy as I wished with my results.  So when it came to deciding what I would do with the rest of my life, I was a little dejected.  Many conversations with my mum led me to looking at the areas of life that I was passionate about and at the time this was coaching young people, health and physical activity and any sport going around.  I was keen on a Human Movement degree but my mum just kept at me with the following question “what will you be qualified as at the end of your degree?”  In the end it came down to two courses, Human Movement and Physical Education.  The difference between the two was that the Physical Education degree qualified me as a teacher.  In the end this was the one that won out.  Throughout Uni, my relationship with teaching ebbed and flowed between feelings of contentment and disdain.  I didn’t think I was cut out to be a teacher and had decided when I finished my degree that I was not going to pursue the teaching element of my qualification.  So how did I end up teaching?  Well an opportunity came up and I decided to give it a shot.  Looking back, I think the real reason was that I wanted to earn a proper wage…no glamour here once again.  Now the prompt for #youredustory is “what was the defining moment you decided to be a teacher?”  This story is about how I became a teacher.  It isn’t full of awe-inspiring moments but more a collection of memories of a young man having no idea what to do with his life and being guided by the most important people in his village.  The defining moments for me are not about why I became a teacher but more about why I remained a teacher.  I still hold these defining moments dear.  From rookie mistakes such as getting the Preps to take off their shoes for a 20min PE session to loosing my cool when a rather obnoxious student refused to follow instructions to taking on new challenges such as being the District Sports Coordinator in my first year of school and building rich, positive relationships with students disengaged with school.  I always say that teaching is the great leveler.  There are days where you think that you are the best teacher that has ever walked the planet and then there are days when you think that you are a fraud and that if anyone had witnessed that lesson, you would be fired straight away.  The funny thing about teaching is that this can happen in the same lesson.  I have made many connections with young people and other educators and these snapshots in time have fanned the flames of motivation, engagement and learning for me and will continue to do so.  I am a teacher because I love what I do and I love engaging with others, inspiring, empowering and of course learning.

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