Sometimes you need to sit down an evaluate what you are doing with your life. Kaitlin has done this recently and takes a moment to recap the reasons she came to teach in the UK in the first place.
I am a teacher. More specifically – at the moment – I am a supply teacher.
I love teaching. I am passionate about my subject areas. I enjoy stimulating my mind. I delight in engaging in conversations with my colleagues and I have never laughed as much as when I witness some of the peculiar exploits of my students.
However, teaching can also be overwhelming, disheartening, frustrating and exhausting. Sometimes, the idea of getting home, hopping into bed, eating Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations chocolate and watching Modern Family is the only thing that gets me through my day.
My recent lack of enthusiasm towards the profession got me thinking. Perhaps teaching wasn’t the right career for me. Or maybe the school where I teach was not the right fit. It was possible that my body was still adjusting from the hot Australian climate to the cold English weather. Yet my housemate, who is also a teacher, felt the same way. After much reflection – this time over Walker’s shortbread – we realised that our lives were not panning out as we had anticipated they would when we first moved here five months ago.
We thought we could work on a casual basis, maybe three days a week, then spend all our down time off travelling. We thought we would be full of energy and out having drinks and socialising every night after work. Essentially, we thought our lives would be thrilling! In our naivety, we did not take into consideration the enormous expense of living in England. We did not realise how high the taxation rates are here. We could not anticipate the absolute exhaustion that we feel at the end of each, five day long week.
We needed to make change. Firstly, we decided to get out of the house more after work and engage in non-work related activities. My housemate and I have started running together and are currently training for the Race for Life 5km fun run which is on in July. We are also looking into joining a netball team as a way of meeting new people and participating once again in a sport that we both loved back home in Australia.
Secondly, we decided to book a trip. We kept talking about travelling but had not done anything about it. So, on the Easter break, we went on a week-long road trip with two friends to explore the north of the country. We went from Cambridge to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. It was wonderful. We met some friendly people with the broadest array of accents we had ever heard! We did a ghost tour of Edinburgh and took in the breath taking sights of what is truly the prettiest city I have ever visited. We saw a medieval re-enactment and did a speed boat ride on Loch Lomond. And we ‘let it be’ in Liverpool at the Beatles’ Story Museum. We have already planned our break for the next school holidays; I’m off to the south of England (Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds) while my housemate is off to the Netherlands.
I am a teacher. But I am also a young woman living in England with the world at my feet. Adventures await me at every corner. Work is important. What is more important, however, is that I accept every opportunity I am given to have new and wonderful experiences. That is, after all, the reason why I am here.
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