I was never meant to be a teacher. That never entered my mind when I was growing up. But, ultimately, for one reason or another, none of which I’m particularly inclined to discuss here, I became a teacher. I think I surprised everyone, myself included, when I was good at it. I discovered unknown reservoirs of patience, a knack for humour and simple pleasures in crafting and delivering lessons that not only taught my students something about English or History or Sociology, but also made them think about what they’d learnt and why they’d learnt it. I enjoyed working with young men and women, and I liked being part of a team aimed at helping young people make the best start possible to their lives.
But sometimes, being open to new experiences means that you have to walk away from old ones, and that’s the position that I now find myself in. As of 2015, I’m off to work at another great passion of mine – I will become an Organiser for the Independent Education Union, and that means that, for the first time in more than a decade, I will no longer be a teacher. Sure, I will still be involved in education, but it’s not the same. I won’t have classes to plan and assess. I won’t have reports to write. I won’t have silly student (and sometimes teacher) behaviour to deal with and those staff meetings that seem to drag on forever will no longer be the things that I dread on a Monday afternoon.
So it’s goodbye to teaching. Goodbye to all my hopes and dreams about changing the world one student at a time. Goodbye to all the incredible teaching friends that I’ve made and worked with over the last decade or so. Goodbye to all my precious resources and bookmarks. Goodbye to all the Toms and Elyses and Jeremiahs and Bonnie and Alfie and Kiara and Elayna and Jorge and George. Goodbye to Caitlyn, Caitleyn, Kaitlynn and every other spelling. Goodbye and good luck.