This time last year, I was just taking the initial steps to transform my educational blog into an educational business, Skills with Fills, feeling something in between scared, anxious, terrified and incredibly alive.
And now, as I near the end of my first year, I can honestly say that I still feel all of those same feelings, though perhaps at varying levels.
A good part of why I decided to quit being a ‘regular’ teacher was that I knew no matter where I worked, I’d always feel that same frustration with government or school policy, whilst being powerless to do anything about it. I grew bored of this feeling and I decided to choose uncertainty over certain boredom. This uncertainty has, however, been the greatest source of both my excitement and my anxiety. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles I guess.
Though I’ve had highs and lows over the last year, what has certainly supported me is past friendships, good deeds and kindness towards other people.
A good chunk of my bookings in schools has come about because of people I’ve worked with in the past – teachers, headteachers, support staff; teachers in other schools who I’ve chatted to on training courses; parents of children I’ve taught already, or friends of those parents; and basically people that I’ve had interactions with in the past.
Perhaps I partly hoped that this would be the case, but I certainly didn’t expect it, especially with the current staff/funding crisis facing schools in the UK. So I’m certainly grateful for this.
And as I think back to some situations that could have ended differently – to points in time when I had a choice to either burn my bridges or take the moral high ground, I’m extra glad that I chose the latter.
Because you never know when you might need people again; when they might come back into your life.
And if you’ve treated people with kindness and respect all along, it certainly increases the chance of them returning that kindness down the line.