It’s hard to believe that it was 3 years ago I moved to Sweden, a completely unplanned future ahead of me, and hard to believe how much has happened in those 3 short years. It feels like forever ago and only yesterday at the same time.
When I moved here I was completely disillusioned with the teaching profession and certainly couldn’t see myself teaching again. On top of that I couldn’t even imagine being able to speak Swedish fluently enough to actually teach a class so they understood me. I was quite content to get a job in a supermarket or restaurant, to do something completely different, but life had other ideas.
2 years ago I started working as a fritidspedagog (think teaching assistant/lunch supervisor/afterschool club leader and you’re on the right track) at Tystberga skola. I helped out in lessons, played with and supervised the children at lunchtime and did activities with them after school had finished. It was hard at first with the language but I soon got quicker and quicker at understanding and speaking. I was planning to continue as a fritidspedagog a while longer but things don’t always go the way you planned and after the Christmas holidays I got 2 days notice that I’d be taking over the year 5-6 class with another colleague since their original teacher wasn’t coming back. I really didn’t have much of a chance to say no (which was probably a good thing!). All I can say is a massive thank you to Susanne, my headteacher, who had more faith in me than I had in myself!
It was a massive learning curve with many challenges, lots of ups and downs and I know the kids found my pronounciation hilarious on more than one occasion but we managed to survive the rest of the year together.
This year I have had my own class of year 4 children and finally found my passion and confidence for teaching again. It hasn’t always been easy, but where’s the fun in that? But it’s been full of challenges which have made me grow as both a teacher and a person. I don’t really believe in fate or god but I do feel like I ended up in Tystberga for a reason. I felt a bit sad when I drove past the sign for Tystberga the other day that I won’t be going back there this year but that’s because new things await.
Tomorrow I start working at a completely newly built school which couldn’t really be more different from Tystberga – size, location, catchment area, layout to name just a few things which are different. And we will be working a lot more flexibly with year groups instead of individual fixed classes within a year group area which has different rooms/areas for different purposes. I can’t wait to get started! I am really looking forward to getting to know new colleagues and new children and all the possibilities and challenges that are coming. Who knows what the next 3 years hold!