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  • Writer's pictureAlison Willis

Trust Yourself

I became a teacher by accident, it was never something I had really considered, in fact, I had decided to become an accountant until the last minute. Something clicked in me while I was in the last half of year 12, I don’t know what it was, but I just knew teaching was what I wanted to do. I have taught now for 11 years and I have been in a mixture of primary and secondary classrooms. Originally, I never thought I’d teach above grade 2, but I slowly was given opportunities to move into higher year levels until I found myself teaching year 8. As much as I felt like I was in way above my head for the first few months, it was there that I realised how important your relationship with students is. It is the vital ingredient in a successful classroom and without it, you cannot get the absolute best out of your students. I found it tough but incredible and I asked for a change after a few years with the older students and now I’m back in lower primary. It has elements that are wonderful, but I really and truly miss connecting with students who are year 6 and above. I miss the laughs, the high quality, meaningful projects you can do and most of all I miss the relationships that can really make a difference in a teenager’s life. I’ve had students who refused to come to school and engage at the beginning of the year, write me Christmas cards telling me that it was one small thing I said to them that made all the difference. You cannot buy that feeling, nor can you manufacture it. I look forward to a change at the end of this year (hopefully!) back to the older students. For now I am making the most of working in a school where the majority of students want to learn, are ready to learn and have incredibly supportive home environments, which makes my job easier. For anyone wanting to become a teacher, they need to know that it is not all happiness and rainbows, in fact it s far more clouds and thunderstorms, but you will have moments in time that make it all worthwhile. It’s not easy, it never will be. People will question you, there will be a lack of trust from people, but you just have to back yourself and do the best you can.

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