For all of my employment career so far, “work” has been a place as much as it has been an activity. Work has clearly specified hours, and any work that takes place outside of those hours has an even more beautiful name: “overtime”. But all that is about to change.
You don’t have to have grown up around teachers to understand that teaching is a violent departure from the 40 hour, 8 hours a day lifestyle I am so accustomed to, but it doesn’t hurt. I have vivid memories of parents spending every spare moment in the dining room for seemingly evenings on end, marking the latest tests or assignments, while us kids sat watching the TV. I remember that for the three or four weeks it took for the timetable to get settled during Mum’s years as timetable coordinator we’d just find any excuse to stay out of the way.
But deep down, it’s an exciting change. For starters, there is a degree of flexibility around the when and where of non-classroom related work. More than that though: I’m desperate to be doing work that I care about. So while I’m certain that the prevailing image in my head of how teaching will be must be a highly romanticized one, I am feeling quite at peace with the thought of sitting down of an evening with a glass of wine to sort out some marking.
Because I’m really hoping that teaching won’t be my next job. I’m hoping instead to have found a sense of vocation.