In this blog post, I will start with a series of blog-posts that I will come back to now and again that specifically has to do with the challenges one face as a teacher in a free market capitalistic system and how to solve these with an offset in my own experiences as a teacher in Sweden.
I’ve been working with planning lessons all night. I must say that of everything else in my work as a teacher, this is one of the most professionally challenging tasks. Planning lessons for a class of let’s say fifth graders is probably hard enough, but I’ve got thirty six students ranging from the age of one to fifteen all on completely different skill levels when it comes to the Danish language that I am teaching them. Every time I hold a lesson, I go to a new school. During a day I visit up to six different schools. Often my nights are spent with feverishly planning the next days lessons and it feels like I never get to the bottom of it – lol – my dream and fantasy is to have projects that can last at least a couple of weeks so that we can immerse ourselves in them and know what’s gonna happen the following week. But the way it is at the moment, I am basically winging every lesson more or less.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog-posts, I’ve gotten a tremendous respect for the teaching profession through this job. And what is fascinating is that we as humans often think that a certain profession or job is super easy until we try it ourselves and start realizing that there goes way more into it than what we had originally thought.
A teacher has to be extremely organized and time-effective with the little time we have to plan lessons. I know that teachers are sometimes criticized for having ‘too much time to plan’ or that it is unfair that teachers have so many holidays, but if every teacher is working the way that I do – I can assure you that virtually every minute of that time is spent on trying to come up with ways to best engage the students.
Obviously I could force the students to work on some old Danish book with assignments in it, but they wouldn’t enjoy it and I wouldn’t enjoy it – so instead I try to investigate what they are interested in and adapt my lessons to that. Some of the students are passionate whatever I present them with, so with them I can also test some of them more ‘dry’ material.
But I can see how it takes years and years of practice, training, reflection and education to become a good teacher. I can’t believe I never saw that before. I can’t believe that I was so mean to the temps that frequented my schools as a child. I would always tease them and try to throw them off their balance. Why? Just because I could. To impress my class-mates. To get out of lessons that I found boring (often because I wasn’t very good in the subject).
And like I said, it isn’t only with teaching that this is the case. How have we not all judged certain professions and people as being ‘lazy’ and ‘not lifting a finger’? Or saying: “I could do that with my eyes closed.” Well I have certainly received a healthy does of humility through this job. And I take on the challenge gladly. That doesn’t mean that it gets easier though. Because I can see how the only way I can become good as a teacher – or rather: the best teacher I can possibly be – it takes practice, it takes time researching teaching methods and tools. I am lucky to have a team of colleagues whom I meet with once pr. Week who are in the exact same position as I am, only they’re teaching other languages.
But still it is like there is never enough time. I would very much like to become the best teacher I can possibly be, but for that to happen I need time to investigate, research, experiment and try things out. And in the current education system, in my life, in the kids’ lives – there isn’t time. Their education ‘career’ runs like an express train through their childhood and all I can do is tag along for a couple of stations, throwing vocabulary at them.
In an Equal Money System – we will stop the express train of education towards becoming ‘competitive’ on the global market. We will stop. We will take time. We will give ourselves time. We will give our kids time. We will Breathe. And then we will sit down or stand up and investigate teaching methods and pedagogies and those people in the world who has teaching as their passion will be able to teach without the constant watchful eye of the system to measure whether they are meeting their ‘quota’ forcing them to watch over the kids to measure their ‘worth’ through a mid-evil grading system.
So my goal is to become the best possible teacher I can be – in this system and to utilize what I learn, the insights I have as I participate in my daily work to stand up for a new educational paradigm on earth – not only in our classrooms – but also in our minds.
For more information about Equal Money and Education, I reccomend reading the following blogs