A long road into teaching…

Kia Ora Kotou,

As this is my first post on my new blog, I thought I would tell the story of how I ended up training to be a teacher.

And the most obvious question that springs to mind is why haven’t I got my teaching qualification already?

The answer to that question is that clearly I took a few detours along the way.

The first time I went to university I was 18 and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So I took a few papers and found that I enjoyed my education papers enough to major in the subject as part of my Bachelor of Arts but did I want to be a real teacher then? Not so sure.

After completing my degree I decided to take a year out from life teaching English in Asia. That year suddenly turned into 4 because I had enjoyed my life there. But at the end of four years I was burned out and looking for a new challenge. In retrospect my burnout and boredom may have had more to do with living in a foreign country and the limited scope for professional development in that particular environment rather than anything to do with teaching as a career.

So instead of taking the sensible route and finally getting my teaching qualification instead I returned to New Zealand and worked as a researcher for a foreign government writing cables and reporting on current events (which despite the wikileaks scandal sounds far more interesting than it actually was) for a couple of years. The only bonus of this time was that I finally knew that office work was not for me and I needed to do something more satisfying with my life. I missed the buzz of being in the classroom but felt too old to go back to university.

Perhaps the person who influenced me the most to finally go teaching was autistic step-daughter. The adage that life’s most challenging people are our greatest teachers was certainly true with her. She tested my patience, but working out ways to help her make sense of the world and me make sense of her was far more stimulating than spending my days chained to a desk writing about current events.

So last year after a relationship break up some major life upheavals I quit my job, travelled around the world for 6 months and am now back at university studying to become a fully qualified as a teacher.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie is a teacher of a fabulous class of year 7/8 students (11-13 year olds). She bakes, goes to the gym and geeks out in Wellington, New Zealand.

Posted on January 20, 2011, in why did you become a teacher? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Interesting first post!

    I suppose I’m a teacher, since I’ve tutored and lectured at university (I still tutor part-time). I sort of fell into it, rather than planned it per se. It was an easy choice to tutor when I was still studying at university, and then a natural slide from there to lecturing (though the lecturing was at a different university, it was literally across the street).

    I considered teaching preschoolers when my first-born was a preschooler, but have lost interest in that now. I’ve also thought a lot about teaching autistic children since my son has autism and I have become passionate about these children. For now my focus needs to be on both my children at home though.

    Will be following your blog :)

  2. For what it’s worth, I found my second attempt at tertiary study hugely more satisfying. I knew what my interests were (if not what I wanted to do when I grew up), and everything clicked in a way it hadn’t the first time. You’ll do great!

  3. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words of encouragement.

  4. Great blog, Teacher Trainee. I’ve enjoyed reading all your posts so far, and I will crib some of it for my own students, or if I can, link to it from my course websites.

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