Sometimes, we find ourselves doubting ourselves over situations that have never been problems for us before. From a young age, I have known that I wanted to work with young children within some form of educational format, whether that be through dance or formal education. I have always known that I am good with children and that children like me, and have never had a single problem in forming relationships with them.
As some people may be aware, over the summer I went to Spain to work as an au pair. I had intended to stay for a month, working with two boys aged 4 and 6. However, after a week I made the decision to fly home after spending the week going to bed in floods of tears due to a lack of relationship with the children, and having the family making me feel guilty for not being the Mary Poppins they were hoping for.
To put it blankly – those children were naughty. They did not want me there, and contrary to what I had been told, did not speak a word of English, which made it extremely difficult for me seeing as I do not speak Spanish (I had previously told that this wasn’t an issue).
I have always been able to develop relationships with children very quickly; I am good at talking to them, playing with them, making them laugh, and making them trust me. This experience in Spain completely dampened my confidence – I felt useless, and truly wondered if my chosen career path as a primary teacher was a sensible one. (I sound a tad dramatic I know, but this was a very intense week for me)
Prior to making my application for my PGCE, I have had to organise and undertake a placement in a primary school within my desired age group, which for me is Key Stage 1. I worked in Year 1 for a month, where the teacher encouraged me to take on different responsibilities and the children helped me to understand how to be the best I can be both as a teacher and as a role model for the children – to be somebody that children feel safe, happy, and comfortable to be with. Building relationships with the individual children in the class has affirmed my belief that teaching is the profession for me. Working with the class both academically and pastorally has truly enabled me to grow in confidence and self-belief.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that sometimes, we will find ourselves full of doubt and a serious lack of confidence. It would be easy to just give up and stop trying, however by doing this we will never learn or improve. Instead, it is important to try again – sometimes we just have to go from a different angle.
You never know – you may find yourself feeling more passionate and empowered than ever. 🙂