The email that floored me

by | Jan 21, 2019 | Blog | 1 comment

I received this email last week and it completely floored me. I have become used to people sending quick lines of thanks but am still always so surprised and humbled that people would take the time to let me know that they appreciate what I do. But when I got this email it felt different. Whilst reading it I thought this teacher was quoting me as she was describing my thoughts precisely. Have a read and see if you can relate too…

Dear Kelly,

I purchased your Primary Teacher for a Day e-book today and, even
though it’s late here, I just had to let you know how much you have
helped me.

I have been a Primary School teacher for 8 years. After Uni, I
started casual teaching which led to me successfully gaining temporary
teaching contracts for 5 consecutive years. I had all of 2018 off work
on maternity leave to have my second child and have found myself faced
with no job to go back to (I’m not sure what it is like where you live,
but it is extremely competitive to get a job where I am – even a temp
job – and doors close behind you very quickly no matter how good you are
as a teacher!) So, while I would love to stay home with my baby a bit
longer, a second income is needed and I will be returning to casual
work in a few weeks. To say that I felt overwhelmed at the thought of
going into the unknown (even though I’ve done it all before!) is an
understatement.

Today, I looked through all my resources to put together my casual kit,
once again. After hours of sorting worksheets into piles for lower,
middle and upper primary lessons the anxiety crept up. I recalled the
problems with casual teaching I had encountered previously; not
allowed to use the photocopier, planning for Kindy only to arrive and
be told you’re on Year 6, teachers leaving no work or no resources,
technology that didn’t work or I couldn’t log into, lugging my
portable crate from classroom to classroom if placed on RFF for the
day, or teachers at the school who were too busy to help me or answer
questions about the daily routine. I decided that I needed to come up
with lesson ideas for all grades that I could teach no matter what.
Ideas that didn’t require me to use the photocopier, or rely on
technology. Basically, lesson ideas to use if I was ‘thrown in the
deep end’.

So I started to write down lists of K-6 lesson activities for Literacy
and Numeracy to use as a quick reference. Once I realised what a huge
job this was going to be, the panic spurred me to Google casual
teaching ideas. It was then that I found your website “Teacher for a
Day”. Kelly, you have done all the hard work for us casual teachers
and compiled the long lists that I was going to attempt to do myself.

At first, I was a little wary as I had seen other websites that
claimed to offer so much for casual teachers, but after closer
investigation, they were really not suitable at all and still required
a lot of home preparation and photocopying. My doubts were quickly
allayed. Your “Teacher for a Day Primary School Edition” e-book is
truly the best book I have seen published for casual teachers. Every
claim that you make about this resource is true; it is one book that
has everything you need to successfully teach any class, any lesson,
with minimal need for anything else.

Since I have 8 years of teaching experience, you would imagine that I
would be confident re-entering schools and working as a casual teacher
but time away from a profession that is constantly changing approaches
to educating children and the expectations of teachers is daunting to
resume. Kelly, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my
shoulders today. Your book has given me my confidence back again. I
know I am a good teacher and the ideas in your book give me
self-assurance that I can teach casually again rather than be caught
up feeling anxious about every school booking I get. So a huge thank
you is owed to you for making this amazing resource and sharing it
with others.

On another note, I think there can be a bit of a stigma out in the
teaching world about casual teachers (I’ve come across it myself).
The suggestion that we’re ‘not real teachers’, ‘don’t work
as hard as permanent teachers’, ‘mustn’t be good enough to
secure a permanent position’ are so untrue. Casual teachers work
extremely hard during the hours they are at the school – there is no
downtime that the permanent teacher may have and we don’t have the
advantage of knowing the children well which is so important. Every
school does things differently too so we are always managing changes
at short notice. Also, teaching is such a competitive profession and
despite what you hear on the news about teacher shortages, there can
be hundreds of applicants per job. If you choose to raise your children
or are only available part-time, then you can forget about your career.
There is also a lot of ‘who you know’ gets you the job, though no-one
would ever admit that happens.

My point is, it is refreshing to hear you talk about why you like
casual teaching and it is helping me to feel that I am not failing as
a teacher because I don’t have a permanent position, I just chose to
put the raising of my children first. I may never get a permanent
position, but at least I can still work in a job I love.

Thanks again Kelly.

Kind Regards,
Rebecca

Now, how’s that for a testimonial?!
I am so grateful that I had the guts to give this little idea a go and absolutely LOVE that I am able to ease the anxiety that so often plagues supply, substitute and relief teachers. That in itself is my mission accomplished. I am so excited and humbled by every positive comment I receive and feel so lucky that I get to do the things I love.

I’m one lucky teacher! 🙂

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