vrijdag 30 januari 2009


I love my jobdescription! I have never done anything else then being a teacher and after 11 years of experience it feels like a second skin. The fact that I work with exceptional pupils makes a workingday never dull! Every day is unique. Altough many things did change the last two years.

When I started out my job took place in a very old building in the middle of the historical city center of Mechelen. Across the school there was a little church where one of the Masterpieces by Rubens was hanging: the admiration of the three kings! So when there was going to be fire in our school the whole fire departement of the city was going to be hanging around! And we even had John Voight over because he used the church as a location for the movie 'The Dog of Flanders'!

Two years ago we moved our precious school! The roof was coming down when the blackboard was moved downwards, safty regulations seemed to be issue and once in while there was no heating. After ten long years and many construction nightmares we were able to move away to a different location. Moving a school is also a work of patience and I decided that the half of my class room had to move to the dumbsters. I wanted to start fresh in my new classroom.

The building we have now is modern and gigantic! And no stairs! You can actually do some run practice or drive your bike through the halls. It is a brand new place with many opportunities. It took a while to get used to it but now if starts to feel okay. But it takes more then just a new building to have a school that works.

Like every teacher I need inspiration and when a collegue of mine suggested that the educational fair (NOT) in Utrecht was the place to hang ouf for a day I doubted for a day or two. Fairs can be great. You get the opportunity to see the latest changes, publications, media-applications and other things that can give your life as teacher more color. But also can cause some frustrations and dissapointments.

Finally I decided to go and it was so much fun. The fair itself is hard to grasp! Suddenly you end up in one big building with a group of people that all care about education. And before you know you start to dream. The latest technology that can give your lesson more dimensions, new forms of administration or lessonplanners, teacherkits that promise you the best lessonmaterial, educational (and at the same time fun and smart) games that will stimulate the social skils of your pupils, cool designs for your classroom, the latest publications, the most recent language programmes to teach your pupils a new language in a fun way, pencils and pens that look cooler then ever, brochures to plan your class adventure outside the school, ........

I can go on for hours what I have seen that day! After spending some hours down there I was not on this planet anymore. I imagined that I would be able to have that smartboard with multi media tools, having all the ICT programmes that will give my pupils the individual approach they deserve, have the books that just nurture my creativity, have that printer that would create colorful worksheets, have the newest furniture that will not hurt my back and let my pupils feel more comfortable, ...................

Not hard to imagine that I left that place feeling inspired and dragging along tons of promotional material, cool gadgets, pens, stickers, brochures and catalogues. My feet are still hurting so the feettablets they handed out at one place were actually really to be used instantly! But also my head was aching and I knew that by the time I arrived back in school most of the things I had seen would stay dreams.

Because all these things cost hard cash. And that is a not something I have in abundance. Nor does my principal! He would wish he did. Because the new building seems to have cost a fortune and still does. When I fill out a form to have some chalk or paper for my classroom I need to think twice. It is the money issue that has taken over my profession and there are days that I feel as empty as the account that my principal has.

So for now I have to settle for a classroom that looks not as appealing as it could do. And it is only in my dreams that I am able to teach as I wish. I would just like the aspect that my boss also attend one of those lessons that I am teaching in my dreams. The chat we would have after that lesson would be so much as fun as well! So all I can do till the cash till is full again or we happen to win the lottery, is keep on dreaming. Perhaps I should start filling out lottery forms instead of lesson plans!?

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