Wednesday, 28 August 2013

25 not out...

Earlier today, I read a post by David Rogers about his disbelief at having taught for ten years, and what he was looking forward to in the new year.
It jogged my memory back twenty five years to the 28th of August 1988.

I'd just arrived in King's Lynn, Norfolk after having driven from Mallaig. I'd spent the previous two weeks working on the Isle of Rhum as a conservation volunteer with friends. I'd been chopping down rhododendrons, painting the inside of Rhum Castle, climbing mountains, drinking whisky, getting bitten by midges and living in a bothy. I'd caught the ferry the previous morning from the island, via Eigg and Canna and then driven non-stop to Rotherham. After an overnight stop, I loaded the car with my possessions and made one of the first trips down the A17 (in the years since, I've worked out I've driven along the stretch between Newark and King's Lynn over 700 times...)
I was heading for a bedsit a few hundred yards from the school where I was to spend the next 20 years teaching (though I didn't know that)
I was single, knew nobody in the whole town, and was about to start teaching...

Fast forward 25 years: I'm married with two children and have spent the last 25 years, over half my life, living in Norfolk.
And today, after a five year 'extended holiday' working for the Geographical Association and as a freelance geographer, it was 'back to school' to my new teaching job.
The day was really interesting chatting to the cohort of new staff who were starting alongside me, all with interesting experiences and backgrounds. An impressive Almanack was handed out: a bound publication with all the forthcoming dates and information relevant to the term to come, which promises to be rather full-on for all concerned.

Another interesting aspect was the role of ICT: a move towards BYOD, the school uses an app to 'push' tasks set for homework, which can be set and marked online, to students' devices. Mobile phone use (subject to specific terms of use) is to be encouraged in the classroom, and the school is an iPad Academy Training Centre too. There's also a ClickView library with app to access if required.

And the machine in the common room makes great freshly brewed coffee...

You can follow my journey back into the classroom at my (relatively) new teaching blog.
I can't wait for tomorrow....

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