I have never felt more like leaving teaching than I do at the moment. I won't, because I love the children, and I love actually teaching. But I could. I could phone in with stress and never go back. I could go in today, walk out tearful and never go back. I could just hand in my notice and leave at half term. I could do it.
I want to because of the beaurocracy, the low level of moral amongst staff, the constantly shifting goalposts, the anger and the hurt and the lack of funding and the lack of resources and the bitching and some of the parents, and the government, and the SATs and reports and and and and....
I want to because I don't want to see a little browneyed face lose all it's joy when I give it a reading test that it and I both know is too hard, but yet I *have* to give it because every point matters for the school. I watched the liveliest set of eyes start to fill with tears yesterday and a part of my soul became rotten.
And yet, children like that are the reason I stay. The joy, the love of new information, the excitement over going out, all that kind of thing, is exciting to work with and to live alongside. To see the world through the eyes of that child is to see a place that was dark and frightening and busy and noisy, and is now somewhere where, through speech therapy that child can communicate, where, through masses of love and support and modelled love and support, that child is fully part of the class and is able to join in with us and where the rest of the class gave that child a spontaneous round of applause when it achieved on it's maths test result and was blatently pleased with what was, for the rest of the class, a low score, but for that child was one step away from a miracle. These children are my reason for getting to the school early and for working late. They are the reason that I love my job. They are the reason I put up with the rubbish.
I know that the AC has had teachers like that in the past - I know all of his teachers after all. I know that for some of his teachers he is one of the reasons for getting up and coming to school. His PE teacher this year said that he was one of *those* children, that you look for in the class list and that you want to do well because they put so much effort in. I know that the BG had one of those teachers in the first year she was at school, who worked so hard to communicate with Rich and with me, and to facilitate communication between BG and us. I don't know about now, obviously, but I hope she has those teachers now. She has another 3 years of school left and I hope she has those teachers for every year, that she makes the most she can of the amazing person that she is. T-Boy has had fabulous teachers that have kept him in school when other places would have kicked him out, that have worked through his tantrums and tried hard to find him a route through school and so through life.
So that's why I stay. I want to be *that* teacher, that my children have benefited from. (Yes, I call all of them my children, AC, BG, T-Boy, because I love them all.)
But this week, it's been so very hard...