Relief, Fear, UncertaintyA grim start to a new blog? But Relief, Fear and Uncertainty are my initial feelings now that I’m retired.
At first I was afraidHow can I survive without a full-time job? Particularly such a busy, all-consuming job? Teaching for the best part of 32 years…. In Manchester, in London, in Winchester, in Helsinki, in Stratford-upon-Avon, in Retford, in Sheffield, in Leek, in Keighley, in Wakefield, in Leeds, in Bingley and for the last 14 years at Bradford Grammar School, a large coeducational independent school, where I was Head of English and Drama.
I was petrified
|The Likes Of Us, my final "big" school production|
….tis our fast intentUnburdened crawl towards lie-ins, reading and going to the cinema in the afternoon, writing for fun, puzzling over jigsaws, walking on canal towpaths, the Yorkshire moors and dales on weekdays, focusing on health, booking holidays in school term times…. Working at living instead of living at work.
To shake all cares and business from our age
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Ripeness Is All
Was it the right time to leave?
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which,Was this the right time? This blog may partially answer that question. Life is in an unusual place at the moment. I’ve been commuting most weekends from Bradford to Dorking where my family is temporarily renting a flat.
Taken at the flood, leads on to fortune….
|The Temple on the Nower in Dorking|
I will miss the working life in school: the buzz, the buildings, the banter – but most of all the people. Working in a collegiate atmosphere with people who, by and large, have the same values and aims - colleagues who have compassion, enjoy a sense of absurdity and teach their specialist subjects with depth and detail. Colleagues whose goal is to inspire teenagers, those infuriating, bizarre semi-adult beasts, creatures full of the future, full of unpredictable fun, full of hormonal bullshit.
|Rat Trap an original musical I directed at Leek Westwood High School in my first teaching job|
Life As A Teacher
Every day contained dozens - probably hundreds - of interactions; some interactions were like performances, some quick and intense, some combative and unsettling, some giddyingly silly; but all were involving and immediate. Will I Survive without timetables, schemes of work, planning, delivering, evaluating, monitoring, assessing, reviewing, planning, delivering, evaluating, monitoring, assessing, reviewing, planning…. And so it goes on, deadline after deadline, day after day, week after week, term after term…. But never the same in my subjects (English and Drama) and never the same because of the endless parade of humans…. Teachers, Support Staff, Students…. A cavalcade of teeming humanity.
|Mikey Lord leading These are the days of our lives at Bradford Grammar School We Will Rock You|