I am a primary school teacher. I am also a book-lover, an illustrator, a painter, a gardener, a questioner, a musician, a sportswoman, to name a few. Now, this is not intended to be boastful in any sense of the word. You may say I am not the best at any of these aspects of my life but I still take an interest in all of them. I chose to teach because I wasn’t sure which avenue of my interests I would like to focus on. Based on my personality, many people told me to try teaching because it encompasses many subjects. The sad reality: I believe that I am a good teacher. I believe that it is near enough impossible to be an ‘outstanding’ teacher without losing myself in a deep, dark vortex. There are days when I believe I have taught outstandingly. However, overall, I would say that I am trying to ease up on how seriously I take the job. I write this because last night I suddenly had the horrible realisation. I am 23, I have been a teacher for 2 years now, I have been in Year 1, Year 4 and will undertake English leadership next year. I love this responsibility and I enjoy changes as the classroom feels stagnant after too long. The problem is, I am losing my creativity, hobby by hobby. Day after day, I am losing myself. I am losing what makes me, me and succumbing to the outrageous norm of a teacher’s workload. If passionate people are losing their interests, how will this impact on the classroom? Will these people then be able to share real-life experiences with the children about the subjects they’re teaching? Starting this half term, I intend to regain my life back. I find it completely outrageous that such a young person, without a family, can lose their hobbies altogether. There will always be an excuse why the pressure is on. For example, Winter - new class, new routines, hit the ground running. Spring - data drops, pupil progress, observations and Summer - reports, end of year data, transition. Well, what I’m trying to say is, this is not good enough. These reasons should not increase workload above the workday hours as it is completely unacceptable to use excuse after excuse. Please let me know if this is something that you feel strongly about. What will you do to break away from the unrealistic expectations of a teacher’s lifestyle?