It has now been twenty years since I graduated high school and it is amazing how different the world of education has become. I remember relying solely on pens, lined exercise books and class texts. That was all. Computers were still new and there was only one in my classroom, which nobody knew how to use.
Let's be honest: being a teacher is one of the best jobs in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most stressful and exhausting jobs. I am about to begin my ninth year as an educator and, despite all I have learnt about the profession during that time, the experience of my first year is still fresh in my memory.
I remember the adrenaline-induced panic I felt at the beginning of each new class, desperately hoping that the next lesson would go well. I also remember spending many hours every night planning, organising and creating lessons for the next day. Finally, I remember agonising over the behavioral challenges I faced from a small number of students and my own sense of failure at being unable to find solutions.
As I have come to learn, my experiences are very normal. New teachers always find that the learning curve of their first year is steeper than they ever expected and many people feel like they never truly get their 'head above water'. Unfortunately, many new teachers feel like they cannot admit how hard they're finding it, in case others think that they're not 'cut out' to be a teacher.
As a teacher who enjoys finding new ways to integrate technology in the classroom, I would love to share some of my favourite digital tools with you.
I have been using Windows devices, particularly Microsoft Surfaces for all of the eight years I have been teaching (and I have written about why this is the case before in this blog post).
For the last three years, I have been lucky enough to have been awarded as a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert (otherwise known as a MIEE). This means that I get to hear about Microsoft’s latest education initiatives and give feedback to the company from a teacher’s perspective. It is an incredibly valuable experience, one that is open to all educators.
As a History teacher, I believe I have one of the best jobs in the world. Every day I get to share my passion for the past with hundreds of students and I never grow tired of seeing people become fascinated with all of the crazy and impressive things that humans have done over thousands of years.
But what is it like to be a History teacher? What does a typical day look like?
If you’ve ever considered becoming an educator and were curious about what a career in teaching was like, or if you're simply curious, then I thought I would share some answers to those questions above.
As a History teacher, it will come as no surprise that I think that studying the past is one of the most enjoyable things we can do. However, I frequently get asked by students, teachers and even my own friends why someone would invest so much time in people and events that haven’t existed for a very long time.
I thought I would summarise my typical answers to these people in today’s blog post.