Becoming Me… A Teacher… Again!

THIS is the decision I have made… I would like to become a teacher… Again!

THIS is what I know about myself and education… Teaching or Leading Learning as I like to think of it is the best career in the world. That is what I genuinely think! Except for becoming a professional footballer, this is what I have always known for a long time… for me at least anyway!

At the age of 25 I gave up a good job, flourishing career and my flat (bought 2 years earlier) to go back to university and become a teacher. Why? I was working in a managerial role at an international car rental company. Part of my role was to recruit graduates for a management trainee programme. I interviewed graduates from Russell group universities including Oxford and Cambridge. The problem… I had to interview 10 of them to get 2 that may have fit the criteria required! Therefore only 20% of graduates demonstrated the skills required at interview. We were looking for motivated creative thinkers who could problem solve and think on their feet. Young people who used good communication skills and could show empathy towards our customers. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of young people and help them to be be better prepared for life and the workplace.

I was a teacher for 10 years which included 6 years as an Assistant Head teacher. It was at this point that I decided to leave the classroom and look for something different that would allow me expand my horizons and learn more about education on a national level. I had been a very succseful teacher ensuring that the learners within my care received the best teaching I could give them. My classes, and departments under my control would regularly achieve 90-100% GCSE A*-C. That was from working in a school which had learners from an area of high social deprivation. The area is still placed 4th in the whole country within that measure.

I am currently working as  a National Development Co-ordinator for ASDAN in Bristol. Geographically, I have moved a long way away from where I was and it has also opened up a new world for me. What does being an NDC mean? It means that I contribute to writing curriculum programmes and qualifications for schools and colleges, provide advice for centers and write/deliver workshops to provide teacher CPD across England, Scotland and Wales. All this is completed with a close eye on what is happening on a national level to make sure all the new criteria and standards from OFSTED, DFE and OFQUAL are being met. I have learnt a lot through talking to people from all levels in schools/colleges and in general educational organisations. I have learnt a lot more than I ever could have done through staying in the classroom for that time.

Through my experiences over this past 1-2 years I have rekindled a burning desire to be in the classroom. I always thought that I would not be away for many years but the time has come to make this happen. I have been having a continuing argument in my head; Look how many people are leaving teaching! Am I mad? Why do I want to put myself through this exam and accountability culture again? I work for a brilliant organisation who are so supportive? Am I really sure this is the right thing to do? The simple fact is that I really believe that I can offer young people a broad learning experience where the focus is on skills and competence mastery. I will promote high expectations and challenge which will give the learner a desire to want to gain knowledge, to learn and to achieve academic success.

When I became a teacher the first time round, I wanted to teach! I got carried away with leadership and promotions. I did not really want that, but as I said ‘I got carried away’ with the journey I was on. It was a great experience, but now I want to be involved directly with learning. Middle leadership is my goal but no further out of the classroom than that would be ideal. Again, I want regular involvement within the classroom and with learning.

So becoming a teacher (Leader of Learning) is what I would like to do for the rest of my working days. I am not daft enough to think that this will happen as a working life is a long time, especially in this modern era. However, while I think that I can offer something extra to enhance the lives of young people, then that is what I will do! I am determined to do everything I can now to make this become a reality.

I would like to concentrate on doing what I do best, or at least what I think I do best?

My next blog will be based on the teacher I have been and more importantly the one I want to be…


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