Since finding out that result of my Masters in Education two weeks ago, I have been trying to assemble a blog post to express my feelings about the result, which has been difficult.
I am very pleased with getting a merit considering what I went through over the past twelve months and what I willingly put myself through. At times last year I struggled with teaching so much that when I finished for the summer (I am employed on an hourly, agency contract) that I took all of my personal belongings home from the staffroom as I expected that it was more than likely that I would not be back, either because I would leave teaching or because I would not be asked back. The latter was because my teaching had dropped in quality during the year and I had struggled to raise it somewhat due to a combination of exhaustion and growing disinterest.
Undertaking the Masters was not in itself an overwhelming experience, but when combined with needing to concurrently undertake further studies in another subject as part of my professional development whilst undergoing a moderate decline in my already moderately declined health, it was all too much, and I just crept over the line in the middle of the summer.
By the time I got a full break in the middle of August I was exhausted and my creative faculties were pretty much shot, and I found myself wondering whether the whole thing had been a waste of time. I did wonder, although not seriously I think, about whether the two copies of my dissertation would accidentally get ‘lost’ as I took the five-minute walk from the college library to the building where they would be handed in.
Six weeks later I am in a better, albeit still rather tired place. I have had to give up going out on my regular walks for now and I occasionally walk with a stick which is largely a reminder to myself to slow down. I have a good number of teaching hours for this year teaching accounting only, and combined with a few hours working elsewhere, I feel for the first time since qualifying as a teacher that I actually have some balance between work, rest & play.
Even teaching has started again to become a little easier and more enjoyable, although it is still a work in progress. This is because this year I am only teaching adults and avoid the stresses (and also the rewards) of teaching teenagers on study programmes. I have booked a number of concerts to attend during the year, I go to the cinema a couple of times a month and I have found time to read for pleasure once again.
As I have reflected on my Master’s research (about which I will write more at some stage) it has started to impact positively on how I teach. We will see in the long-term how it impacts on my students, but early signs are good. In the coming weeks, possibly months, I plan on sharing parts of my Masters research on this blog, and hopefully some of you will be interested in reading it.