Reflecting On A Primary Practical

I’m sitting at my desk in Melbourne. It’s Monday morning, and for the first week in six weeks I’m not in Darwin. Today, I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, get dressed into professional attire, and catch a bus to a small primary school in Darwin’s northern suburbs. Today I won’t be spending 6 hours assisting two talented educators take 40+ young minds to places they have never been before, growing their abilities and seeing them flourish. Today I’ll just be sitting here, at my desk, or hanging out in the apartment adjusting to this season people keep telling me is Spring.

The last six weeks have been among the hardest of my life, that I can say with certainty, but they were also some of the most worthwhile, the most illuminating, and the most unforgettable. It was six weeks away from my partner in all things: Dean. It was six weeks living with my mum, for the first time since I was 15 years old. It was six weeks of new experience after new experience, each one smashing pre-conceived notions I’d had about what it meant to be a teacher, and about what my life might look like once I graduated. It was six weeks with the steepest learning curve I’ve ever flown up, taking me to a totally different state of mind, and perspective, about this journey that I’m on. But, at the end of the day, it was also six weeks where I realised, more than ever before, why I am so glad I did this degree. Working with kids who didn’t let themselves be held back by limits, and with educators who were so full of great ideas and a love for their craft. That is where I want to be. Maybe not all the time, but I want it to be a part of my life, there’s no doubt about it.

So, now I’m back to my quiet little life. No kids calling out my name, asking for help, challenging my teaching and learning abilities. Just me, my writing, a cup of coffee in my hand, my garden waiting for me out the window, and a whole lot of learning left to do. My next practical will start around March, sometime in the first term of next year. I might have done one, but this will be that same learning curve over again. A new school, in a new state, and I’m sure with lots of new challenges and new goals to meet.

I can’t wait.

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  • Reply
    November 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I’ve been a mentor to many interns doing their practical, and those words… “new experience after new experience… smashing pre-conceived notions I’d had about what it meant to be a teacher… steepest learning curve… totally different state of mind, and perspective…” are very familiar to me. It is a hard gig, teaching. But, oh my goodness, what a privilege and joy. The next one, yes, it will be different and hard, but no, it won’t be your first time ever again. You’ve got a little experience to draw from now. It will get easier, become your second nature if it’s where you belong.

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      November 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Helen, I can see my experience is not that different from other pre-service teachers, clearly not just in Australia but elsewhere as well! I’m definitely looking forward to getting into my next practical, and into this amazing community of worldwide educators.

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