Where For Art Thou Mojo?

My ‘get up and go’ seems have done just that… and it has taken my teaching mojo with it.

Over the last few weeks life’s events have taken their toll on my wellbeing. I worked myself into the ground (physically) to finish the painting and flooring in our new house so that we could move in during school holidays. I then returned to work completely exhausted and was reminded of my role as a leader when I had to forgo my usual teaching role to support a colleague. School camp came and went and I discovered that the common cold that I had been denying was actually Shingles. Some extended time away from work coincided with a change in personnel and the beginning of a fantastic, new co-teaching arrangement at school. Then my beloved Granny (who lived on the other side of the world in Wales) passed away last weekend at the ripe age of 97.

In between these events I have tried to maintain enthusiasm for my work. There are so many great things happening at our school right now. Genius Hour is up and running for all of our year 7 students. This has been a big mission for me this year. Our ICT Strategic Plan is taking shape and I see exciting times ahead for our school community. We are about to host visitors from an interstate school. Yet something is missing – my spark! I know it’s still in me. I just need to find it and bring it back to the fore.

There is so much going on. Maybe that is a part of it. My Principal regularly encourages us to focus on a few things and do them well. I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I tend to take on too many things which, when combined with my penchant for procrastination, can leave me overloaded. I certainly feel stretched – like trying to share that last small piece of dessert with the whole family.

Most of all, I’m worried about my students. I took on a role of science/maths teacher at the start of the year despite a clear lack of experience and knowledge of teaching science. I am a neophyte teacher all over again. I’m learning new content each weekend to take into the week ahead. My teaching strategies are basic and I’m stuck in a cycle of trying to gain some control over what is happening in my classroom. Fake it til you make it!

It was always going to be a challenging year for me having left a long term, office-based role to return to teaching. The new Australian Curriculum was introduced to schools since my last teaching job. My previous role was heavily focused on the ICT General Capability with limited exposure to the content of the Learning Areas. It’s been a baptism of fire, having been thrown teaching maths/science after the beginning of the school year. I’ve been chasing my tail ever since. At the heart of it all, I still don’t know if I want to teach science. At which point in time do you emphasise your own wishes ahead of the needs of an organisation?