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By Johanne James

Hello there dear readers and how are you? I do hope that the week has not been too turbulent?

Anyway, the topic of today is Being A Teacher.
Now there is an enormous amount of responsibilities to even being an instrumental tutor. The amount of Child Protection, Health & Safety meetings and leaflets and conferences I have had to attend has been more than I would like to go to! Almost once a week I get an email of some description or another. You can spend more time in meetings than you would teaching. Pah! Now it’s more about ticking boxes, and there are so many hoops to jump through I’m surprised there are any teachers left in the job!

The kids, well they can be a nightmare. In fact, some of them are, in fact, most of them. Then there are NQT’s, Newly Qualified Teachers. They themselves are not much older than the kids, so consequently there is little or no respect shown! “Teenage Gorilla’s on the tarmac, fighting in the middle of the road” (Tom Robinson). Now it’s about conflict resolution, and the kids are so well protected and have an amount of power that can be, and is sometimes abused, so whom will protect us from the children? It’s not an easy career to choice; I was a classroom music teacher for six months. The amount of paperwork is frightening as there are lesson plans, schemes of work, evaluations, being formative and summative, I may explain that at a later date, registers, classroom management and a host of other issues to consider. Give me a break! But, me being a drum tutor, I get one-on-one’s so they come to me for a purpose, and it’s usually to escape maths, or science, or English or any other undesirable subject for the next 20 to 30 minutes. In saying that we do have a lot of fun as I try and make the short space of time that we have as enjoyable as possible, hence I get a lot of students wanting to bunk their lessons and hang out with me! That in itself is a problem as I tell them that I, along with them, will get into a lot of trouble if they truant their lessons!

Working in music engagement for SEN groups, or should I say Special Educational Needs and disabled children can be very enjoyable. We get them to sing and dance and write their own lyrics, and perform them, which they have, twice, at The Albert Hall of all places, and no one can ever take that away from them. What do you say to that? Teaching at any level can be and is usually a challenge, for the teacher must always keep the student engaged and inspired, not always easy and I would say to anyone who is considering going into teaching, make sure it’s something that you truly wish to do, for you may spend far more time doing paperwork than you will in the classroom. And try not to take your work home with you as the pay isn’t worth it!

That is of course my own opinion, and others may offer you a more positive note to which I say, good luck.

Thanks for listening.

Johanne James


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