It was necessary to leave my last teaching job. But my place was always in the classroom.
It has now been more than three months since I cleared my desk in my old classroom.
Instead, I passed the time and made a living through online tutoring. It has been a good journey. But the desire for doing actual classroom teaching is strong.
Why I Took a Break From Classroom Teaching
To leave my last teaching job was necessary for several reasons. I had big plans to teach in South America. Those plans did not materialize.
Another factor was that I was involved in special needs education for most of my career. The school I worked for received the children, where all other efforts had failed.
I would never dream of blaming the children. But the truth is, that the work started to take a heavy toll on my mental health.
The fight with authorities for necessary support measures became harder. The students were more afflicted than ever before. The pandemic sure did not help.
The South America Dream presented itself as an opportunity to make my way out and start over.
I needed to pull the plug.
But I was never ready to leave my Profession altogether.
I never went to South America. Instead, I did online teaching and tutoring. I went back to Germany after living in Denmark for 25 years.
So I guess I got my fresh start after all.
Doing so has given me a lot. I met new challenges, that helped me grow. I learned new skills.
Teaching Online Has a Big Drawback
Teaching online works well by now. Every day I learn to use new, innovative tools to make my lesson delivery more efficient and increase learning outcomes in my students.
But it has a big drawback. The lack of social interaction.
Online social interactions can never replace the real deal for me.
Face-to-face contact allows for much deeper connections with students. And those deep connections are necessary to get the best learning outcomes.
And I am selfish. I gain a lot from those interactions too. I miss seeing students smiling. Making silly jokes in a relaxed atmosphere. Or asking me silly questions.
I Am Ready to Go Back to Classroom Teaching
I decided I want to get back into a classroom. To this end, I have started to actively seek positions again. There is no shortage of teacher demand in Germany. I guess that is the case in any country.
I am confident, that I will find a position.
But the past has also taught me, that I will not go back for any price. I want to teach. Teaching means quality interactions with students. And the possibility to deliver high-quality lessons.
A school that does not even provide adequate Internet Connection will not do. Nor am I willing to enter into prolonged fights for basic classroom supplies.
I hope that I have learned the importance of setting boundaries for myself in my work. It took long enough.
Other than that, I am ready. I promised that I would not leave my profession. I intend to keep that promise.