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Professional learning, Supportive and safe learning

When I grow up………

This year I “celebrate” 25 years since I left high school education for the big world. I still distinctly remember my last day, the celebration of finally finishing, no more teachers,no more lessons , no more homework. I also remember going home and making three distinct vows about my future- I would never work in a factory, never work in an office and definitely never in a school!!!!!
I never was a scholar, I found school irrelevant ,my teachers frustrating and “learning” got in the way of my social life. I had no idea of what my future held and much to the chagrin of my parents, no desire to become “mature” or an adult.
What happened? How did I end up as a teacher and loving it?
I look back now and see my life as a journey, where every path has been a learning experience. Believe it or not my first job was in a factory, then after finishing my apprenticeship, I spent three years in an office and then ended up studying teaching.
What clicked? How could I become something that I was so against?
It would be nice to have our lives in a box at 16 years old and know that your future is all rosy and secure. For me, in reality it always comes down to – extending myself and what can I learn.
Could I have gone into university straight from school? Possibly, but I don’t think I would be as effective as a teacher because I hadn’t had the experiences I have had. The journey that I have travelled has made me who I am, I have been refined and continue to be. I, in time developed a passion for learning and get excited when kids learn.
How does this impact me now in my teaching? I share with my kids that we are all on a journey and life experiences make us who we are, they are not a bad thing but a ” learning thing”.
Back in 1986 I would never had dreamt that I would be where I am ( my teachers wouldn’t either) but I wouldn’t change my journey either ( apart from the rats tail and shaved head).
I hope my students look back in 25 years time and have had a journey that has refined them beyond what they could have dreamed.
I would hope that when asked the question at 16 – when I grow up I want to be ……..
They would answer – healthy,happy and learning.

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