I am a teacher, of science, and I have something to say.
I've had the name of this blog in my head for ages, a play on the title of popular revision books for Junior and Leaving Certificate pupils, but never had the desire to really kick it off. I've just begun my well deserved summer holidays and I am somewhat inspired to get cracking on something new. I wanted to create a blog which allows me express my opinion on various aspects of the teaching profession, a blog which will allow me study and investigated how teachers are perceived by the public, a blog which will allow me explore how much teachers are valued, if at all, by the wider public and a blog which will allow me air my frustrations on the education system in Ireland.
I'm not new to blogging. I've been running The Frog Blog for the past two years - my school's science department blog. The Frog Blog is a website designed to enthuse and inform people of all ages about the world of science. It contains a wide range of articles, links, news features, recommended software and much more. It has been well received by the public in Ireland and across the world and I am absolutely delighted with my reader figures. But the Frog Blog isn't the ideal forum for expressing my opinions on educational matters. For example, I recently went on a long rant about the Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science exam which I felt was a grossly unfair paper which didn't reflect the syllabus. I felt bad about putting such a personal opinion on The Frog Blog but felt so strongly that teachers and pupils were being cheated that I simply couldn't help myself. My piece got a great reaction. Several teachers and pupils of Ag Science contracted me via the blog agreeing with my assessment of the paper. The Irish Independent quoted some of my thoughts in their review of the paper. I also received loads of phone calls, texts and emails from pupils and teachers of the subject since the piece. It has encouraged me to try something new - something that will challenge me - something that will enthuse me - something that teach me - something that will probably consume me. But I will give it a go.
What about the title? Well it's simple. Teachers will never be rich, will probably never get the recognition they deserve, will work their arses off for their few pennies and will be stressed to the hilts for 9 months of the year. We are busy people. I teach, I am a Guidance Counsellor, I am a rugby coach and referee, I am a House Tutor (with responsibilities for some of the boarding pupils in my school) and I am a husband. Balancing all these things is difficult and is very stressful. I often work 15 hour days and my working week is usually 60 hours or so. I even teach on Saturdays. But I will never be rich - I don't want to be - but I will have nice holidays (which I believe we need to recharge) and I will look back on my teaching career with fondness. I'm not done yet, nine years down with 38 more to go before retirement age, and I hope to continue to learn along the way.
I hope you enjoy my new venture. I hope I do too.