I think it was partly by surrendering my ideals and allowing myself to be satisfied with the work I produced. There’s a lot of planning involved in teaching, and perfectionism is something which can easily get out of control as you strive to make every single lesson all-singing and all-dancing, with fantastic differentiation and wonderful resources. It kills you; it simply isn’t possible.
Being a student teacher is serving three masters. You have your Uni portion to satisfy, your mentors and tutors in school to work with and the actual kids you’re supposed to be teaching. You’re supposed to plan all your lessons in advance, and each lesson is to be meticulously planned to the minute. Imagine being a perfectionist in a situation like that. I’m surprised I lasted this long.
So, no longer will I spend hours doing the PowerPoints, the timings, the references. I have to allow myself to be satisfied with what I can be realistically expected to produce, which will hopefully result in an increase in happiness and productivity.
I can’t deny that I’m most uncomfortable with the whole thing – it seems I’m accepting sub-standard work – but hopefully it can help me rediscover the happiness and satisfaction that I know teaching can bring.