If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I used to be a teacher. I started out as a high school and college drama teacher in Canberra, then I moved to the University of Canberra and ran IELTS tests for a few years and then I found my way to Melbourne and fell into special needs teaching. I was desperate for relief work and the first school that called me was a special ed school up the road from my house. I nervously said I had no special ed experience and they said ‘We don’t care!’ so I went up the next day and taught my very first special ed class and I never went back to mainstream, I loved it so much.
I taught relief work and part-time for many years until about 2014 when I stopped teaching entirely to become a full-time freelance writer.
I honestly think teaching is one of the hardest, most rewarding, most underpaid and undervalued professions. It’s intense and joyful, hilarious and scary. It’s a very cool thing to do with your life.
I grew up with teachers. My father has four sisters and all of them are teachers. I have six adult female cousins and five of them are teachers, one of my male cousins is also a teacher. One of my teacher cousins is married to a teacher. At least half of my closest friends are teachers. Teachers have been and continue to be a massive part of my life. When I was a teacher, I always lamented the lack of tips and self-care ideas available for us. Most work/life balance tips act on the assumption that you have any control over your time when you’re at work. Tips like ‘negotiate a later start time with your boss’ or ‘go to the gym on your lunch break’ infuriated me. There’s no negotiation on time when you’re a teacher – it’s pretty much illegal to not show up on time. If you’re a teacher who is supposed to be on before school playground duty and you’re not there when a kid hurts themselves, you’re screwed. It’s a massive responsibility that very few people understand.
So this week’s episode is dedicated to teachers. The guest this week is actually a listener of Very Excellent Habits who has some great tips for teachers. Work-life balance, energy and getting everything done always seems to be the sticking point with teachers so here’s Kirstie on how she gets everything done.
In this episode, we chat about…
- The ideal teacher mindset and how it specifically helps with teaching
- Keeping up your energy throughout the day
- Dealing with behaviour management
- Parent/teacher contact time and placing boundaries
- Kirstie’s top 3 tips for staying cool, calm and collected during the school day
- The challenges modern teachers face and how to combat them
- Getting everything done
So if you’re a teacher, looking to become a teacher or you simply want to hear about a life that’s different to yours, this episode is for you!
You can listen right here or on your favourite podcast app.
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