When we graduate from university as teachers, we think that we are prepared for a career in education. We can assess, we know the basics of lesson planning and how curriculums work, we have been schooled in classroom management, we have completed the practicums, and then we enter the workforce. We naively march into our new school with the idea that we are prepared, only to discover that we are not. What university hasn’t prepared us for is the individual way schools run things, and the lack of structure. We have endless questions that seem to have vague answers, inconsistent answers, or simply no answers at all: is there a set way of lesson planning?, how are we to assess students?, is there a clear teaching philosophy in place throughout the school or are we left to our own devices? The only constant is that we know our students and we aim to do our best no matter the circumstances - our goal is for our students to achieve at their highest levels. We learn to accept that teaching isn’t an easy profession, to accept that sometimes we have to guess what administration is looking for and hope we get it right, and to appreciate that asking different teachers the same question will lead to different answers – no one is totally sure.
But does it have to be this way? Should it have to be this way? Absolutely not. Our training as teachers did give us the basics to apply at any given school, but if we had walked into a school that had a proper educational framework alongside its vision and mission statement, and individualized planners that met the needs of each teacher, we would have had a completely different experience. The framework would have outlined the school’s plan of action towards meeting their vision and how every single teacher connects in the big picture. The individualized planners would have been the tool we could have used to help the school achieve its goals. We would have been confident in knowing that what we were doing was what we were supposed to be doing and we would have walked into a cohesive teaching staff that understood how every grade and class connects, all headed in the same direction.
If we as teachers were able to work at schools with the proper structure and plan of action in place, it would change our entire career experience. Instead of the constant worry of figuring out and guessing, we could focus entirely on what matters the most, and why we chose to go into the profession in the first place – our students.
If you are wondering what an educational framework is and how individualized planners work, please read the following articles:
A Vision vs an Educational Framework
What is an Educational Framework?
The Power of Planners