After my rather cryptic blog last week called “I can’t blog” I can come clean and say what I couldn’t say then – I’m leaving teaching, to go into teaching.
Last week I went for an interview and I was told on Friday that I had got the job but I didn’t want to say anything until I spoke with the school today – it’d be unfair otherwise. So I’ll be leaving Westhill Academy after more than five and a half years and leaving Secondary teaching to go into Further Education instead. I’ll blog about the new job once I know more of the details about it.
In 2004 me and Jill moved into our first house and I started to question what I wanted to do long-term to give us a real chance at a future financially. I was sitting at a desk bored with the mundane office work I was doing. It was at that point I decided to try teaching and ten years later I’m leaving with many great memories, some fantastic experiences and having met some great people along the way. From stating in 2004 with my first placement at Forfar Academy I have been all round the houses schools wise – mostly because I had to do the probationary period through the supply route because of having Cancer in the summer of 2005.
I’ve taught at ten schools in total I think, with the longest stretches at Aberdeen Grammar under the watchful eye of Maggie Crowe and colleagues which gave me a really good insight into the job (and the kick up the arse I was needing). Then I was at Bankhead for a year back to my old school where I got to meet old faces and teach new ones. A great school with great pupils and certainly some of my favourite moments in teaching were had there. A short stint at Peterhead with the brilliant English staff before going to Westhill for my first permanent teaching post.
Westhill has been the making and breaking of me as a teacher. It showed me how to adapt materials, teach in different ways and being able to develop Media Studies to the success it has become today. That is the thing I’m proudest of in terms of teaching so far. I started with a class of five Intermediate 2 pupils and built it up to two higher classes of over fifty pupils in total and an Int 2 class of around twenty. The grades we are achieving are brilliant and although part of me would like to have seen in the new qualifications and kept the momentum going there are great people who can pick up the torch and build it even further. Out with the classroom I am hugely proud to have been involved in raising over £40,000 for Sport Relief and Comic Relief in my time at the school. All the great work that the pupils and staff did to help raise that amazing amount will hopefully continue after I leave.
How did it break me? Well that’s for another day and blog – after I’ve left, which will be at the end of term. The new job starts in August and will be a whole new challenge, but one I’m looking forward to. A change is as good as a rest they say and with things looking much more positive in terms of my mental health with the support I’m getting and the right medication I feel that I’m ready to move on and try something new. Onward and upward!