A new year, a new change

Changes are never easy. For a person who loves plans and scheduled agenda, life does throw a lot of curve balls. In all honesty, it also threw me enough lifelines to survive through those changes.

The decision to leave a high paying software industry employment and to join the education industry wasn’t an easy one. It was done after a lot of thought process and a few voluntary works in the school (after my DBS checks were cleared, of course) to ensure I was making the right choice. That I still had it in me to pursue my favourite profession of younger years. No one was proud of me than my mum when I did make the change as she was a teacher for a while before she had to give it up and she knew that I had always planned on being a teacher, no matter the subject.

I was also lucky to be in the right place at the right time because here in the UK, there was a need for teachers who could teach the science behind computing rather than the ICT that was taught in the schools. My move could not have come at a time better than this. I landed my first ever teaching job in a private school who were looking to expand their computing curriculum in their secondary school and there I was. Win-win for both. I was thrown at the deep end to figure myself out, but thanks to all the resources and online courses that were available and the help of my lovely colleagues, I swam safely to the shore.

Having been in the teaching profession for almost a year and a half, I can confidently say that I made the right choice. There is never a dull moment. There are so many stories that surround you every day that it would be foolish to not enjoy them and soak in the experiences. It also taught me something or the other every day. I never knew or understood about the SEND inside or outside schools. I did not know anything about ADHD. In India, these aren’t specifically addressed in any way in any schools in my time (not that I am that old). I am not sure how it is now. At least from what I know of my nieces and nephews schools, they aren’t any significant changes so far, but there is recognition. I never realised how varied the abilities of the children in a classroom would be and how difficult it actually is to cater to all of them. I had forgotten what it was to learn as a child, how fast they assimilate things and how lazy they can be too. The challenges that come with the children of this day and age being digital natives was another thing. They had an air of self-confidence that comes with them handling digital devices with so much ease that they think they know it all.

It took me a term and a bit to dispel the belief that computer science was all about coding. That the curriculum caters to much more than Scratch and gaming. It was hard work because I did not have anyone to help me through my subject and I had to learn from the results and change my delivery accordingly. I had to make a conscious effort to make the lessons more accessible and more interesting every single week. After 6 terms (which is 2 academic year) I am very happy with the results. There is always room for improvement on my side, but I am very glad that my efforts have started to pay off and at least 75% of the students are interested in the subject and want to pursue it well. I have seen some students who were shy and reserved in the previous year starting to engage and do well in all aspects of the subject (theory and programming). This is the part of the job which makes it very satisfying. I couldn’t have asked for such lovely and warm colleagues, who made some of the tough moments bearable. I wouldn’t have handled the job with such confidence without their help and care. The job, sadly, also comes with a lot of data handling. Sometimes I think there is too much focus on gathering the data rather than doing the teaching. The ratio of actual delivery of teaching to the creating and managing of the data related to teaching is almost 1:3, which ain’t good, as far as I am concerned.

In the software industry, there is always something provided by the organisations for a better work-life balance as the work can be very strenuous (irrespective of whether the employees end up using those facilities or not). I wonder why such a thing is not enforced for teachers. Considering the amount of stress involved in the job and the lack of funding in the education sector, each school should have a way to help the teachers manage their stress and give them a proper work-life balance. I tried to throw in some ideas related to that but it never took root. Hopefully, it will be considered in the future.

I will always be grateful to the school for taking a chance on me and giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do most and I am equally glad that I could deliver to the best of my abilities. As it always happens, there has been a new development and that means a new change. I have been given a new opportunity in a new place in a new setting with regards to teaching. It is an opportunity which is too good to be missed. So, I will be missing my school, my students, my awesome and always supportive colleagues and making my way to a new and a different pasture this new year. Any change brings with it some anxiety, some doubts, some worries, but hopefully with the help of the love and support of the people I have in my life (Mr M, of course, and my friends) I will find my strength to swim my way through this sea of adventure.

State your requirements correctly

My brother sent me this joke, which made me laugh so hard. Thought I would share it with you. Might be an old joke too, but what the hell 😛

Problem about being in IT. You go by requirements.

Wife said, “Honey, please go to super market and get 1 bottle of milk. If they have bananas, bring 6”.

He came back with 6 bottles of milk.

She said ” Why the hell did you buy 6 bottles of milk?”


He still do not understand why his wife scolded him after his reply. 😯

Trust me, we see this day in and day out at work. Unless you state it very clearly, it is so easy for people to misinterpret the requirements or take things very literally 😉

SoCS: A Bit of this and that

We all, at least most of us around here love Cricket. And when I was very young, I had the pleasure of being involved in the galli cricket (i.e. street cricket) with my brother. Since I can never run, even if it is to save my life, I would never get a chance to bowl (standing in a place and throwing the ball is not bowling …so) but I was (or rather am) slightly well built and have good strength in my arms. So give me a bat and I am good at getting some runs for you, even without running. I used to love it. But then I got banned by my parents 😦 (reason: I am a girl).

I am not a person who will bet on anything, actually it should be modified as ‘a person who should not bet on anything’. I am a very emotional person and cannot judge unbiased, even though not always. For e.g. in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 20-20 Cricket Matches, my favorite team was  is Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Irrespective of how the team is performing, if I have to bet, I will always bet on CSK, for every single match. No way I will bet on any other team to win a match. How will that be betting at all. But then, that is how I am. So I don’t even go there.

Even though the term bit makes me want to write about the computer jargon, I am trying to not do that, but I am not getting anything else right now to write about bit 😦 I will skip them and go to the last one remaining then.

Bot, a term I first learnt in my master’s. Oops, Sorry! this is again a computer term. Can’t help it. That is what came to my mind when I read that word. I used to wonder how a bot (it means a small software that can run on a machine and do some repetitive actions without any intervention) gets designed and how they are used in some of the computer applications and all. Now they are running everywhere, be it our normal search engine, our shopping cart, every single place. A simple example which you might be very familiar with is the spam bot. If you see some mails automatically marked as spam it is because of a bot which is programmed (and in turn learns by itself to add more filtering options by the one that you mark as spam too). OK, I am gonna stop right here with my lecture hoping that I did not bore anyone who read this to the end. Have a nice weekend and Happy Blogging. 

Post for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “bat, bet, bit, bot, but.” Focus on one, use them all, or simply include one of these words in your post. It’s up to you!

SoCS Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

SoCS: All about that degrees

Ah, the degree of importance attached to the Engineering and Medical degrees out here…Every parent want their kid(s) to be a doctor or an Engineer (specifically a Software Engineer) and sometime back my friends who have kids ranging from 6th grade to 9th grade were talking about how early should they start the coaching for the entrance exams for Engineering / Medicine, so that their kids can be placed in a very well known and reputable Colleges or Universities. Seems like the coaching for Engineering and Medical Entrance exams (yeah, we have a common entrance tests to be able to get admission and it varies from state to state etc…long story) start as early as 6th grade. That is just Wow. My parents, especially my mother wanted me to try for Engineering (her excuse was that I was the only one in the family who could do it, because where my siblings were within 5-10th ranks I always managed to be among the first three) and I had good marks in my 12th grade (high school). Engineering degrees don’t come easy (monetarily) and knowing the struggles my father was already going through as the lone earning person and to support the studies of three kids in good schools, I wasn’t going to be a burden on him in any way. And since seats were allocated based on Caste System, I had only 0.001% of making it through even if I manage to score well in the Entrance Exam. There is also this small glitch that I always studied on my own and never had to take any tuition. My father was against it. According to him, it was the school’s responsibility to teach the kids and he shouldn’t be paying someone else more money to teach his kids the same thing. So no coaching for the entrance exams either. I was actually happy about it. So when my mom wanted me to try my hand at the entrance, in spite of me not having any time to prepare (she had very high opinion of me) I strictly said no and did not even waste my money on the application form. All I wanted was to do a basic bachelor’s degree and get a job so that I can lessen my father’s burden. She was very upset for sometime. But then because of my marks and also because the subject was relatively new and upcoming, I was offered Bachelors in Computer Science, when all I wanted was Maths and from there my journey took a different turn. I still managed to become a (Software) Engineer, even if not by degree.

“A degree helps to a degree, but your work is largely what you create it to be.” – Ryan Lilly        

Post for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “degree/degrees.” Have at it!

SoCS Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions