17 Jul 2016

Work Experience: Finding Your Path


I'm not going to lie, on Monday morning I was practically crapping myself. 


Picture the scene: a sleep deprived bedraggled girl curled up in the fetal position in bed desperately dreading the sound of her alarm going off as she knew that would signal an hour before she had to be her two work experience placement at the primary school she went to six years ago. 

 I have explained before about my plans to go to university and become a teacher, so I thought it best to get a real idea of what it's like to be working in a school. I'd been for a interview the a week before and saw lots of little kids mooching about and thought "ahh aren't they sweet, I can't wait to get started." 

But then on Sunday, I thought "oh my frickin God, tomorrow I'm going to be in a real working environment with real life adults that aren't my parents in class with a bunch of eight years old and expected to look after them with basically no experience or knowledge what so ever. I mean what the hell have I let myself in for! 

What if I hated it? What if the children didn't like me? What if I didn't like them? And I never wanted to teach again? What if all my plans for the future would be ruined and I'd have to go back to the drawing board? 

Pressure. 

So that morning I nervously walked up to reception, muttered something about doing my work experience there and tried in vain to open the door into the building, not realising that it wouldn't open because it was one of those doors that the receptionist had to press a button to open and I just looked like a complete plonker standing there yanking at the handle. Then having been set some party bags for the end of term to fill and tie up by the class teacher, I proceeded to forget which classroom I was meant to be in but found it eventually thanks to a rather lovely (attractive!) maintenance guy. 

When I walked into the class I forgot to factor in that a group of 30 plus children would be sat there staring at me as I had just interrupted a lesson and the teacher (who also taught me about six million years ago and is still there!) introduced me as Miss Dale. I mean come on, nobody has ever called me that in my life. Yet the whole class of eight year olds cheered and clapped and I died and went to heaven because I had not been in the room more than five minutes and they already loved me. 

They wanted to know how old I was, if I could guess their name, if they cause guess mine and if I could help them work out a maths problem they were stuck on like I actually knew what I was talking about. Some kid even decided he really wanted to hold my hand so proceeded to yank me around the room with my hand firmly gripped in his while he showed me all his wonderful work that I couldn't read. 

Me:   Oooh that's a lovely drawing of a dragon
Him: What? That's a drawing of my mum! 
Me:    ... 

And after listening to them read what seemed like the easiest books ever after struggling through Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudiced during my English Lit lessons, we did PE. And if there is one thing you should know about me is that I bloody hate sports with a passion but watching all the kids run around the field playing rounders and knowing that all I had to do was score...was surprisingly enjoyable. Mostly because I was the one torturing them, not the other way around. And it was fun. Not least because some cute girl with special needs let me play with her Nemo toy and I was like this is so much more fun than learning about the Oedipous Complex (if you do look this up it is fucking weird!) and what the hell carbaminoheamoglobin is! 

Not only that but in the space of a week I've been on two trips, one to forest school on Tuesday where we built camp fires and toasted marshmallow and a type of soda bread called Australian Damper Bread which was just so awesome and like the most amazing comfort food ever that I just had to get the recipe off the woman cooking it. Then on Friday we ventured to the The Haven Plotlands in Essex, where we wandered around a house built in the 1930s, attempted to do washing with a mangle while at the same time keeping an eye on all the kids so they didn't suddenly decide to wedge their fingers between the rolling pins and become fingerless and galloped around the vegetable garden on those wooden horses you stick between your legs. 

Such fun!

I still have one more week with them all and for the first time in forever (their love of Disney is rubbing off on me as you can probably tell!) I am actually excited about Monday morning. 

I mean when does this ever happen. Like seriously. 

I swear if I worked in a school like this for the rest of my life I would die happy. Even if I hadn't become a multimillionaire, visited all the countries in the world and ticked off every single item on my bucket list, it could not top the moment you see a child begin to understand something that YOU have taught them or when on your first day, kids actually fight over who gets to sits next to you and one of them says "your my new favorite teacher!" and I just melt. Just physically melt inside from happiness and pride! 

There have been many times when I have felt like I don't fit in with the people my age who go out boozing and partying all the God damn time, but suddenly I feel like I have found the path I'm meant to take. 

That this is my time to shine.

 I hope for those of you who haven't found that contentment and positive outlook of the future that you one day will, but know you sometimes have to force yourself to do the things you really don't want to do. 

You have to go outside your comfort zone to places that make your knees shake and heart race and mind worry because more often than not it turns out flipping amazing in the end. You just have to keep working at it. Keep talking to people. Keep learning. Keep exploring. Discovering. Seeking for what really makes your heart soar because once you find your calling, it's like you are looking at a whole new world. 

*Cue cheesy song from Aladdin- see what I mean* 

And if anyone is seriously considering working with children, go for it! 

I've spoken to the experts and the overall feeling is that it is the best and most rewarding job in the world. No two days are the same and it's practically impossible to become bored of seeing those smiling little faces looking back at you in adoration. It's hard work behind the scenes, challenging and demanding with long hours and not the most amazing paycheque but the fact you are changing lives every minute of your working day makes it all worth it. 

So worth it. 

Funny how life works, eh? 
Love Beth xx

6 comments:

  1. This is such a nice post to read and I'm so glad that you're happy and excited for Monday! I did my work experience earlier this year at John Lewis and absolutely loved it, it made me much more confident as a person and I really want to work there in the future :) I hope your second week went well! x

    Eleanorclaudie.com

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    1. Aw thank you so much for leaving a comment! I'm glad you enjoyed your work experience as well- it's such a useful thing to do as it really does give you a taste of what the working world is like X

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  2. Aww I loved reading this! It always starts off really scary and nerve wracking but eventually it gets so good! It sounds like you're having a lovely work experience and I couldn't be happier for you! :)

    Heather Xx
    100waysto30.co.uk

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    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment! And I agree everything always works out well in the end- it's just the getting there that is the hard part X

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  3. This post made me so happy! I actually teach 8 year olds so I know what you were going through and on my first day as their teacher I was also beyond terrified. I love teaching and if you ever want to ask me any questions then please feel free! :)

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    1. OMG! No way! I'd love more than anything to teach- I'll defo get in touch with you if I have any questions. Thank you xx

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