Many years ago I left my second permanent employment since leaving secondary school, in England, to work on a farm in Norway as part of their government’s cultural exchange programme. I received varied responses from my work colleagues, from friendly envy to ridicule that I was leaving a great job in a bank to ‘plant potatoes’. Sure, Assistant Statistician and Auditor sounded impressive but I wanted to experience life and explore the world. I spent the next twenty years working in temporary employment so that it didn’t hinder any future permanent prospects but allowed me freedom to travel. After all, repeatedly resigning from jobs does not look good on anyone’s curriculum vitae.
Having worked in white collar roles for most of my working career, I believe I have developed good communications skills and the travel, well that has given me insight into other cultures. Don’t let the term ‘white collar’ mislead you. I am not afraid of hard work. Physical work. I’m sure many of you have heard someone say “You don’t know what hard work is!”. Well, that was my parents and I could confidently reply, “I do!”. As well as the farming, which wasn’t all tractor driving but manually clearing rocks, weeding, and tossing hay, I found myself roofing on my first day on the job in Canada for Frontiers Foundation’s, Operation Beaver. I have also been grape picking in Australia, when it wasn’t compulsory as it seems to be now.
I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and work or learn with others. I am a team player, and as such, I am trying to bring this attitude to my future career as a teacher. The fact that, as you may have gathered from my history, I am a ‘mature student’, reflects my ideology that learning is not just for the young. I am not afraid to say “I don’t know” but will follow it up with “Let’s find out”. I am here to help, I want to infuse my passion for learning and exploring into my teaching. Primarily, my teaching philosophy seems to be ‘nurturing’ and I will leave you with this one quote that has stuck with me throughout my studies. It is from A. S. Neill at Summerhill School:
“I would rather Summerhill produce a happy street sweeper than a neurotic prime minister.”