How to change the world?

So this week it’s been back to school. Full pelt. As I mentioned before, I love quotations. And searching for them is therapeutic in itself. So although I may be making hard work for myself for every post hereafter, I’m going to pledge to try to include at least one quote each time. 

Confucius said : 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I like this. I’m not going to sit here and say that teaching is never ‘work’. This coming after a week where I saw midnight and was still on the laptop a couple of times would probably get my judgement called into question but it’s ok; because I love the job. Yes, 13 weeks holiday a year is great but the reason to do the job for me is the satisfaction of seeing change, of making a change. Steve Buscemi’s character in Armageddon (awesome film) has the line “Why do I do this? Because the money’s good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?” – my department does lack the use of explosives sadly (maybe I should have been a science teacher….. 😉 ) but it’s true, one thing I love is that the scenery changes. The kids. They’re the scenery I see every day, and you see them change every day. Not always in a good way true, but it keeps you on your toes. I’d never be able to sit behind a desk watching and not partaking in the world going by, and teaching means I get to be doing, learning, changing, making the change every day. Pretty cool huh?

So, the start of a new year, new term…but same challenges, same difficulties? Definitely. I always find the term after Christmas the hardest one to go back to. You’ve had a lovely break, it’s proper family time, everywhere is sparkly…then you’re back at work; buried under marking and deadlines, with a massive ‘to do’ list already, and you never see daylight as the days are so short still. One week in and it feels like you’ve never been away. And the same problems from last year keep rearing their heads. I think it’s essential in teaching that we try to keep that drive and focus as much as possible all year. Impossible? Probably. But not if you have a supportive team (be that through school, home, twitter, etc,.) to push you and praise you, remind you it’s a collective effort. A big ripple becomes a wave.

I came across a few images this week that made me think, or smirk. Or both. The following sums up what I mean. ImageI don’t ever plan to run my own school. I’m not super ambitious and I know my limitations. I just want to be a great teacher and have an influence on those in my classroom. Change one at a time and you eventually change the whole. Sounds cheesy? But it’s true. Every big change started from something small. The human body and the Earth and the planets, complex as they are, are governed by the teeniest tiniest particles working together. So while I may not be a Headteacher one day that’s ok. It’s more than ok to have an influence on the hundreds of kids one-by-one who come to lesson, or who I tutor, or who I chat to in the quad, or who I help complete their college application. After all, I’m not just able to have an influence in the classroom – it’s about every time you have a conversation with a child, every time they see you. If I come in grumpy and like I don’t want to be there then that has an impact. If I’m rude on break duty they will remember that. I always make a big deal of the little things like saying thank you if a child holds a door open – you never know but you may be the first adult that day who has been polite to that child, or has been appreciative. It makes a difference.

How to change the world? One little bit at a time.

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