The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Teacher
My Name is Victory Ike.
I am a Business and Accountancy Teacher in Cavan. I did my Undergraduate in Commerce and Accounting at NUI Galway and could not get enough of Galway so did my PME in NUIG too! I graduated in 2020 but due to you know what I am yet to have my graduation. I am a very positive individual that is passionate about sports, I could watch any sport seriously! I am a massive soccer fan, I wanted to be a soccer player when I was growing up, Still will not say no to a call up if any manager is reading this. It was my love for soccer that got me into coaching and after an enjoyable 2 years coaching the Ballyhaise underage soccer team, I knew I wanted to do something involving helping others as I am such a people person.
Most evening you will find me either getting a run or gym or both in as I think that exercise is a fantastic way to destress, gain confidence and grow. In my opinion, your body is a vessel that you have the responsibility to take care of. I am also very competitive, but I think that makes things fun!
My alarm goes off…
These days, my alarm could go off at any time between 7:45 am – 10 am but normally It would go off at 7:50 am as I am a first-year tutor that needs to be in before 08:48 for registration and luckily, I live very close to the school. In saying that I would probably still snooze the alarm and risk it all for 5 more minutes even though I know I am a heavy sleeper sometimes, I once slept through a fire alarm but thankfully it was false.
After my tango with sleep which I (thankfully) win, I start blaring my Spotify morning playlist on my speaker, Songs like “Magic” by B.o.B and “What you know” by Two Door Cinema Club always get me in a good mood.
After my shower, I would then start one of the toughest decisions of my day.. What to wear? ‘Looking good, Feeling good’ as they say!
After that decision and hoping one of the guys isn’t wearing the same thing which has happened once or twice, I have breakfast which is normally Weetabix with a banana. I will catch up on the news, bring my lunch (Normally Last night leftovers) and make sure I take in some positive news before I leave the house.
Psst… check out our blog-post on decision-making and priorities HERE.
I am responsible for…
As I mention before I am a First-year tutor, and my class group is called Rang Ike. I am responsible for every one of them, like a parent! As a tutor, you build a relationship with your tutor class at a much quicker pace than you do other classes as you see them first thing in the morning every morning. This class allows them to ask questions or get help to make sure their day starts as best as it can.
Every Monday, we have a Monday move, it is a positive quote to help them through the week, they take it down into their journal and we review it on Friday.
Some tasks I will have to do would be things like checking and signing journals, print out timetables, check uniforms, give them some feedback on school news, discuss some issues that have come to light and enforce school rules, covid protocols etc.
I am lucky to have an excellent class (the best class in my opinion!), They are very helpful towards each other, positive and competitive when they want to be. They wanted to win the Christmas Door challenge and we did! Victory is ours!
As light as all that sounds, some matters need to be taken seriously as you don’t know what is going on with the personal lives of each student so I try my best to listen to them, help as much as you can, cater and embrace their diversity but also have to be stern at times to show students that there is a line and rules are there to be obeyed. If things do not go the right way, I will inform their year head and/or parents about what is going on depending on what it is. Sometimes the parents will inform you about sensitive information, so you must make sure to follow the correct procedures and accommodate the new information whether it is letting other teachers know, informing year heads or the principal.
My typical day would involve teaching my classes, correcting work, creating differentiated work for students, trying to take in the feedback I received and reflect on my teaching. I would note points into my journal of anything that stood out and I liked. I would fulfil some requests from my tutor class, complete other tutor duties or things asked of me by other staff members. I would race about the school to either print handouts, ring parents, and make sure to get to a microwave asap as our lunch is only 25 mins long (all while refreshing my emails).
The best part of my job is...
It’s got to be inspiring hope to students. To think that a student understood something or overcame a challenge because of you is the best feeling ever. That is why I am a teacher.
As a Black teacher, I hope to inspire hope and be a success story because I know that there isn’t many like me in this profession but there are many that would think about the opportunity of being a teacher. I want to show everyone that it is possible to achieve goals. I hope to share my experiences and start the conversation about complex issues such as Racism, Discrimination etc.
Psst… check out our free CPD course for teachers “Diversity & Inclusion in the Classroom” HERE.
The most challenging part of my job is…
The most challenging part of my job is the feeling of not doing enough, I am aware that there is only so much you can do but sometimes you think could it be different if I had tried this way or that way. There is a lot of people to cater for and you want to help every single one and not make anyone feel left out, but you can be very busy and feel like you should have given someone more time than you did. Another challenging part of the job is that you are constantly on, you may be going home at 3/4 but you could be making lesson plans or answer emails or even touching upon topics at like 8/9 pm! Online teaching has brought its benefits, but it has also brought limitations e.g. Teams freezing, poor wifi etc.
I have realised that there are challenges in everything, and you should give it your best and if not, look for help because someone could have gone through what you’re going through and can guide you.
I am inspired by…
I am inspired by my parents; they gave up everything to get me this far. I grew up in foster care but I am honour to have two sets of parents that have invested so much into me and taught me right from wrong and also that when life gets tough, stay positive and smile.
I am also inspired by the Basketballer Lebron James and Marcus Rashford for their work towards education and how they live their lives even though they are famous athletes!
Once the bell goes, I always stay behind to catch up with the lads or whoever is about while listening to music and getting some work done as I know if I go home I’ll procrastinate and before I know it, its 9 pm and yet to do some planning for tomorrow! (If you know, you know). After all that, I would go to the gym to blow off some steam and listen to music. I go quite frequently as I have set myself some goals before the year is out, whether it is learning how to improve my form or figuring out what exercises work best for me.
After the Gym, I would go home and make dinner and while eating it Ill watching whatever sport is on. If there isn’t something on, I would call some friends just to check-in and before you know it, it’s late. I am trying to get off my phone and read before bed but that is not working out. I am currently reading “Hanging with the elephant” by Michael Harding as it was given to me as a present. It is good so far and after that – Turn off lights and off to bed!
The motto I live by…
In a world where you feel like you have to pay for nearly everything, ‘It cost nothing to be kind’.
A huge thank you to Victory for sharing his not-so-secret diary – we totally know what you mean about it suddenly reaching 9pm without your planning sorted – nightmare!
This was such an inspiring piece from Victory and we loved sharing it with you!
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher, principal or education professional whose diary you would like to read?!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate yourself or someone else – ah go on!
Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!
What an exciting time of the year! Your main lessons and topics are complete and the pupils are getting excited for their summer holidays. It can be a challenging time to keep pupils engaged in classroom lessons due to exciting events on the horizon like school tours or sports days, so I like to keep things light and fun and still try to ensure the learning is taking place.