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Practice makes perfect

My name is Owen and I currently work as a lower primary teacher at Transylvania College in Cluj, Romania. How did I get here, you ask? Well, I’m lucky enough to be an adult “Third Culture Kid” (ATCK), I have a passion for teaching & culture, and - most importantly - I have spent four unforgettable years studying to be a top professional in our field.

After graduation, I knew one thing: I wanted more experience before taking over my own classroom (not that I wasn’t cheeky enough to apply for some positions anyway). I had enough experience to know that I didn’t have enough experience. I feel that no course, not even one as practical and awesome as ITEps, can prepare you for your first year as a classroom teacher. I have seen friends burn out in their first few months as a teacher. They were overwhelmed and beyond exhausted by the end of the calendar year, not the school year! With that in mind, I took a job as a substitute teacher at Copenhagen International School, gaining a short-term contract as a TA in a kindergarten class I’d spent a lot of time in. I also made an effort to immerse myself into school life there, go to the weekly staff meetings, and lead some after-school activities. It was just what I needed.

Now I teach Year 2 and go by the name of Mr Owen. Things are going pretty well! My experience last year gave me a lot of the knowledge I was searching for, without the added pressure of the expectations a classroom teacher faces. My classroom management is now one of my strongest assets (you are guaranteed to face children at their naughtiest when you come in as a sub), I have had an opportunity to work with most age groups, I have worked on my own teaching style while learning from others, and I no longer tremble at the thought of having to contact a child’s parents (most of the time). On top of that, I still have the energy to be part of the school’s Eco team, Lighthouse team, and recently volunteered at the school’s Schol

arship Society Ball. I still have a long way to go, but I do know two things:

  • There is life after ITEps

  • A sense of humour and a good cup of coffee can get you through even the most hectic of days!

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