During this last term, the amount of work I received increased significantly. I was thankful for this and many of the concerns I had at the beginning of the year disappeared quickly. I was able to get into a rhythm with my teaching and became very familiar with the staff and students at the schools that I’ve been working in.
Before long, instead of worrying about whether I’d have enough work or not, my mind became focused on my work performance. That itself is not a bad thing, but it is easy to get carried away with this mindset and turn it into something that looks more like competitiveness or perfectionism. I realised that I’d become so consumed with trying to impress my potential future employers, and with trying to stand out from the other relief teachers around me, that my motivation for work had changed. I was teaching more from the head and less from the heart. I was putting on a performance, hoping that my efforts would bring success. It didn’t take me long to realise, however, that there will always be ways to improve my teaching and that there will always be some new goal to achieve. I don’t want to be driven by the need to impress though. I want to be someone who teaches from the heart, and I truly believe that when I keep that as my motivation onlookers will notice it. I’ve recognised that I am most content in this profession when I’m focused on the students and the learning process, rather than how impressive my teaching skills are. Yes, striving for self-improvement is important, but so is being satisfied in this moment of my journey. I know that this is only the first phase of my teaching career, so I intend to keep my motivation authentic and trust that I will learn to find contentment along the way.