I've started a new job. It's incredibly hard and challenging. I don't know what part of teaching deaf kids with severe learning difficulties was going to be easy.
But it's a great opportunity for my career. In saying that, for me it's not about adding another notch to my belt and boasting that I have 5 years teaching experience under me whilst only being 22. (I am proud of that though).
It's the chance to grow. It's the chance to be challenged but have on-going support. It's the chance to expand my mind. It's the chance to be completely submerged into an unfamiliar environment, and whilst struggling to come up for air, it makes me realise that this isn't a rushed journey. I don't need to panic and second-guess what I'm doing.
I'm made for this.
The love, praise, guidance and inspiration come naturally. And those are some qualities a real teacher holds.
I'm sure we've all had 'crappy' teachers during our years of education, I certainly did. Sometimes they just wear out, and forget what it's all about. But that's all they've ever known, often it's the only career path they ever took.
But, right now, for me, it's a new beginning. It's a time to - excuse the dodgeball quote - 'grab life by the balls'.
It's not going to be an easy teaching year, and I know that. What fuels me is seeing the progress these children make, when maybe 20 years ago, they would've been sent to a prison-like school because no one had any hope for them.
I have hope. I believe in these kids. And my friends and family have hope and believe that I can do this too. The warm messages of support and reassurance have played a big part in believing in myself. And with that, I shall leave you with a special message from a special friend...
"If anyone can teach them with compassion and kindness, you can".