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.

Wow!

One whole year of teaching completed successfully and by the look of things that happened on the last day of school, I think I did a pretty decent job. To top it all, I haven’t had a single day off. Granted I got enough holidays during half terms and term breaks but even when I was sick with cold, flu, acute sinus and other such common ailments, I managed to go and teach. I didn’t feel like sitting at home and nursing myself back to health.

I loved going to work and enjoyed all the chaos and confusions and the frustrations that came along with it. Some kids made it worth the while and that is all that mattered. I wasn’t there to change the life of those kids, neither was I there to ensure that they are well equipped to take over the ever-digitizing world, all I wanted to ensure was they know the myths and the facts of the world of computer science and make the decisions for themselves.

Given the range of “Thank You” cards (and loads of chocolate), I have received I guess I did make a teeny tiny impact 😉 My trick of playing some annoying subject related rap-songs (especially in Maths) might have something to do with it too 😀 It felt so good to hear from those leaving the school to pursue their education elsewhere that they were going to miss my lessons and miss arguing with me about the various technologies. Even though I wasn’t there to witness it, I was told that some of those kids thanked me during their graduation ceremony. It was so sweet of them. In return, I learnt the “floss dance” and did it along with them on the last day 😉

All in all, it was a very well spent and very satisfying year. I hope this continues for as long as I am teaching and I plan on teaching for a long time. thankyouteacher.jpg

Time flew by…

Where did the three weeks go? I start school again and it feels like I haven’t done all that I had planned to do during the break. I did a quick trip to Canterbury for a day and complete an online course on Autism and ADHD (to gain more insight into those areas and to see how I can help with those kids in my school). Not to mention killing myself during that three day yogic course. Other than those the weeks just flew by and here I am into another term and almost close to a year of my teaching career and much closer to becoming a year older too. Good lord, I am getting older faster than I thought 😁 But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A busy week before the busy weeks

Finally, I got around to start writing about my Padua trip which we undertook just before Christmas. I have two more posts on go, but at least I have made a start. You can head over to Memoirs of my travels to have a look at the posts.

During this week, I have been busy doing my online course on Teaching Computing from Future Learn and completing it, earning a certificate and gaining more confidence in my teaching methods. It was a tough nut to crack. It has been ages since I sat down and completed a course. I register online and forget about it after a week because it is difficult to fit in with the schedule. Apart from that I also finished my lesson planning for the next week for all the classes. It wasn’t easy but I got there in the end. That is why I could get my travel blog going today ( I am skipping my GCSE lesson preparation as I don’t have any classes next week)

My school starts Monday and I am sure it is going to be full hands-on. I do hope that this sinus and cold which has flared up again after a short respite will reduce over the weekend (have found out a herbal medicine which promises to fix it quickly, let us see) It is not a good news with the flu season at its peak now. I do hope that it gets better soon.

After a very long time, I have sat down for close to 3 hours and typed non-stop (also found some time in between to binge watch a few episodes of Mrs Browns Boys). I need a break. People who are enduring the snow and extreme cold weather, remember hot chocolate is the best remedy (like the one we had in Italy); dark chocolate (70%) with very less milk and corn flour mixed in it. You have to eat it with the spoon but keeps your body warm for a long time. Try it 🙂

Until my next post, ciao!

An year here and off to a short break now

It has been a year since I arrived in London and boy, does it seem like ages ago. What with the move, not just the place but also the job it definitely feels like too many things have happened this year. I am on my half-term holiday break now which is great and much needed, but there are so many things to be done. On top of that, I fell ill and lost my voice for the past two days. I can kind of whisper things today without straining, but it is now at the stage where a dry cough has taken over and my sinus is slightly clogged so not a good few more days to look forward to. Among all these did I enjoy the snow? I definitely did. Not the icy patch the next day though. I almost fell a few times walking on those.

Silver lining among these events is that we are going on a short trip to Italy this Sunday and will be back just before Christmas. All our presents are ready and waiting next to our nativity set (we don’t have Christmas tree). That would also mean I will be off the grid unless I get good wifi there and am not too tired to blog. We are going to take it slow and steady with the trip, not rushing through the places etc. There will be lots of photographs for sure and a travelogue once I am back.

Y’all stay safe, hope for better things, spread the festive spirit, be safe, keep blogging, and most of all keep smiling.