I had a few meetings last week where I found that my year 11s would be having a different teacher for the rest of the year. This was because me leaving in January would be a big disruption and we all agreed the earlier it was done the better. However it left me thinking of how that would affect me when I came back from my travels.
I know that leaving just one term after completing my NQT year is not ideal anyway, but not having really taught year 11 could cause me serious issues when trying to find another job. I also thought about what I want when or if I come back. I don't want to come back and go into the same job with the same people. I want to do more, contribute more, I want to be a second in department.
Years ago I'm sure this would have been impossible, but with the job climate for teachers, especially math teachers, there is the possibility I could do this, if I put the effort in now and possibly while I'm away.
So, what can I do?
Last year I ran a more able borough completion for KS4. It went great and I'd love to make it an annual thing. My head of department agreed and was more than happy when I suggested I do it again.
I also similarly ran a primary school day, but I just won't have time to do that again this year, though it was so much fun! We did the spaghetti and marshmallow challenge, the library was a mess but well worth it!
But a year or more gap in my employment history is allways going to be a red flag in education. So bottom line I have to do something while I'm away. I'm really close to getting my level 1 BSL, and I'd really like to complete my level 2 online while away, but this would majorly eat into my budget!
Mainly though, I want to visit schools while I'm away, experience the culture in schools, see how different they are to the ones here in England. I have nothing forcing me to return to England so if I manage to get into other schools I could end up moving to another country.
I realised a long time ago that teaching was what I wanted to do with my life, at the end of it all I do love my job. BUT our education system doesn't work and it's getting worse, I think if I found one that was good I'd want to stay there.
Ofcourse I'd like to see all the different types of schools, even those that are not well off. I did my dissertation in Kenya going into various schools in small villages. The schools were made of corrugated metal or mud, but the students passion for learning was incredible. Students would walk for 3 hours to get to school! They wouldn't even complain as they knew how much of a privilege it was too be able to go to school. Unlike a student I had today, who tried to make a case for why students should be paid to go to school, like they're doing us a favour. Needless to say I was shocked. But that may be the crux of the problem with some of our students, they think that school is a chore, something they are forced to do, so they don't appreciate what their lives would be like without it.
So the five year plan?
Do what I love for as long as I can, teach, somewhere, and experience everything I can.
I just really hope that when I come back I can find a second in department job up the payscale and the housing market hasn't gotten so rediculous that I end up living with my parents forever!