Well the time has come – I have officially graduated with Honours in Primary Education. It was a day of celebration, gratitude and reflection. As I consider where I’ve come from over the past four years, it is quite incredible to think.
To me, this highlights the potential of education. With me, my whole cohort, as well as the many thousands of graduates across the country in a variety of areas of expertise, took a big step in our futures. However, it was our pasts that led us to this point. Part of that past was our learning that took place in the walls of our primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. These learning institutions will have inspired us to pursue the path that we have chosen. Ironically, I met in passing one of the primary school teachers in my own school. This meeting highlighted to me the value and need for education.
As I reflected on this, it reinforced to me the where the desire for my chosen field came from; the ability to make a positive impact on as many lives as possible. Our reach as educators reaches beyond the walls of our classroom, the scope is much wider. Parents, grandparents and other relatives will come into the contact with the children we teach and if they have fostered a love of learning, we have no idea how that will impact on their relatives. My almost 2 year old son was able to be brought after the ceremony for pictures. The education I’ve received will make and impact on him and any other children I have. The same is so for our students. If we consider a primary teacher starts teaching at 24 (my age), teaches for 40 years (only an approx. figure), assuming they stay as a classroom teacher with no other pastoral, curriculum or leadership responsibility (which is highly unlikely but will generate a minimum figure of impact) and have class sizes of 30, we can calculate the number of children; 1200 learners. Imagine a room with 1200 people…all taught by you! Then lets multiply this by 6 to include (average of) 2 children, 2 parents and one other (spouse, grandparent etc.) – this gives us 7200. That’s around the average attendance of a League 1 football match.
Inspiring stuff…and then we have to consider those we collaborate with in our profession. In 5 months my blog has reached across the globe:
Four years ago I would not have considered that I would be writing a educational blog that was actually viewed across the world. This blog is just one example of how our impact as educators extends to beyond the children in our classrooms. We may question what chance we have of making a difference in today’s world. I’m beginning to understand that the answer may be more than I thought – and how is this done? By one lesson plan, one carefully prepared resource, one display board and one report at a time.