Earlier this week I started school for the year, it will be my 9th at my secondary school – seven as a student and two as a teacher. It’s strange going back.
I’ve had some horrible jobs lugging equipment round the school maze/building site (because that’s what it has become recently!) in huge downpours of rain, but I really enjoy what I do there. It isn’t much, I didn’t head off to university like everybody else in my year, and nowadays I’m just helping out as an assistant to PE, but I have always felt valued and appreciated. I only work part-time, and so I still have my job in the clothes shop up in the high-street. Balancing the two can be a little tricky sometimes, but both have been very accommodating.
It’s weird though. I look at the two jobs completely differently. I suppose there’s the common perceptions of either job, which plays a part – being a teacher is seen as respectable, dedicating yourself to an important, valuable profession, whilst working in a clothes shop is kinda viewed derogatorily. A combination of the two works for me, so that’s not important.
Though I don’t really view my job as a PE assistant as work. I can’t really explain why. Maybe it’s being around like-minded people in a comfortable environment, doing what we all love doing. That can’t be said for where I work in the clothes shop. For many, it’s just another job. To differentiate between the two when people ask me where I’m working I say “school” for one and “work” for the other. I didn’t even realise I was doing it.
Anyway back to school…
I wasn’t always the happiest student, as I’ve well-documented in previous posts (especially the earlier ones!) and by the end of my education there I couldn’t wait to get away. What made me go back to work there, you say? Ahh, I really don’t know. I knew I wanted the job the moment I was offered it. It’s not everyday that you get the chance to get to know your teachers, to go into the staff room as if it’s nothing special, to call your old teachers by their first names (and equally impressive is that they now call me Mr McKeen!!) It has proven to be an experience that has changed my outlook and memories on school life.
Not only was I offered the opportunity to work at my old school, I have since been offered the chance to go on two fantastic trips. The first to France for a week in May, and the second, more recently, to Cambodia & Laos for a whole month.
This post is a little longer than normal for me, and I no I’ve gone on a bit, but there is a point to my writing and it is this…
In life things won’t always work out the way that you would like, but good opportunities will still come your way. Don’t be put off by how daunting or scary they seem, especially if they excite you. Accept them and take them on. Make the most of them. All opportunities, whether they are fruitful or prove to be barren, are still opportunities to learn about yourself and the world in which we live. Lessons that we could do with learning for later in life.