I shared this post recently during the #28daysofwriting with my Blog. A bit more background about me and the origins of my blog name.
I qualified as a teacher in 2010 and started my first full-time teaching post at the start of 2011. I had decided to change careers when my wife and I moved to Australia at the start of 2009. Previously I had done a gap year in New Zealand to play rugby, then studied 4 years and obtained degrees in Logistics Management, then two years in the UK, followed by four years in South Africa before moving to Australia.
When I started blogging I had to choose a Title for the Blog and signing up to Twitter I had to choose a twitter Handle. I selected the names ‘The Teaching River’ for the blog and @jdtriver for Twitter. By pure coincidence the school I work at is called Riverside, but this is not where the ‘river’ name originated. (parts of this blog post is from one I did many years ago)
So let me explain.
I believe our lives as teachers, (as individuals and as students), is like a river. We start life flowing along from a starting point. We have different influences as we grow up – parents, siblings, family, friends, school, sport, hobbies, culture and much more that form and shape our character. We leave our comfort, our family homes and familiar surroundings and head downstream to the next phase in our lives.
We then enter our lives as teachers, where we have countless streams flowing into the river – students, colleagues, parents, communities, media, technology, government, and each one may have multiple streams. Then as the river flows, we go through calm patches – the periods where everything just runs smoothly. Then there are times of rapids, filled with ups and downs – teaching goes through so many emotional and stressful phases, but the river does not stop and nor does our teaching. No matter what is happening, the river pushes through and garners momentum as it heads towards the ocean.
|Yellowstone River by Charles Peterson (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Then there are the streams that flow out from a river. This is where we influence people and make a difference in their lives. Then they head off in their own river and influence the lives of others. Eventually the rivers will reach the ocean, and this symbolises how teaching never ends and the legacy you create in your students goes out to the rest of the world.
Life does not happen in isolation, we all are influenced by others and in turn influence people. I know that my life as a teacher I will go through many phases, ups and downs, and that they are all part of my own learning journey. This is how I see the link with a river, the continuous flow of developing my own skills, learning, gaining knowledge and wisdom, being a role model, a positive influence and mentor to my students.
I love ‘Teaching’, I’m proud to call myself a ‘Teacher’; and the complexity of learning and constant change makes it the most fascinating profession in the world.