I have this image of myself as someone who thinks, someone who plays and someone who enjoys himself far too much.
So, how did I get here, writing this?
When I was at university in Edinburgh, I enjoyed it far too much. I was free for the first time, I had too much money – giving me money at all was a bad idea – I spent it. University was one false start year, followed by four years of barely making it through, re-sitting exams every summer. I spent most of my time drinking and dancing. Sure I had a great time. I must have had a great time because I can’t remember most of it.
I came out of Edinburgh university with a 3rd class degree in physics and not much idea of what I wanted to do. My then girlfriend wanted to move to Glasgow to be near her family and I wanted to stay in university – it was so much fun.
I discovered that I could train as a teacher and stay in University. That is how I became a teacher – it was an option that meant I didn’t have to get a real job… yet.
My Girlfriend slowly began to see me as the waster I was and she soon left me. So now, I had pretty much nothing left. She “won” all my university friends in the break up. I was living in a City I didn’t particularly like and studying for a job I wasn’t sure I wanted.
Flash forward 8 years. I was living back in Edinburgh – YEY! and I had a lovely girlfriend that I found by accident (she turned up at my door and wanted to rent my spare room).
I had discovered that I quite like being a teacher – if I am allowed to teach. If I have the resources that I need for my lessons, but more importantly, if I have the support of the management in the school, then I can get excited about teaching physics. My school had begun like that, but the original head teacher left and was replaced by one terrible and then one incompetent one. Neither of these people seemed to care about the children that we were educating. So the kids didn’t care about any of us.
The stress was killing me.
So, my girlfriend and I decided to quit (she is a teacher too) and apply for a job overseas. We got jobs in Markham College in Peru.
Here I was asked to teach primary school aged kids. This was a daunting task for me. I had only ever dealt with teenagers. I was used to big complicated equations on the whiteboard. I thought that I would be dealing with children crying and wetting themselves all day.
It wasn’t like that. The school is fantastic. I have a management team who want the children to be safe, happy and engaged in their education – and in that order.
The girlfriend that came with me has changed into a wife, and she is sick of Lima. So we are taking six months off.
We are going to live in Donegal, in a town called Pettigo and do roughly nothing for a long time.
Where next? Who knows?