Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Why I Owe It All to FE

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Why I Owe It All to FE

Article excerpt

At this time of year, most of us have reached our enthusiasm summit and reinvented ourselves as a force for solid-gold inspiration.

Scribbling our new academic year's resolutions into freshly christened work diaries, we conquer admin the second it hits rather than indulging in a staffroom cluster-moan. We arrive at our desks an hour earlier, thus avoiding Sunday night planning panic. And we try to like every student we encounter, remembering that even the worst bother-magnet wears an attitude as a protective cloak. Come on, people, let's high-five!

As we whip ourselves into a pre-match frenzy, our challenge is to nail down this feeling as a sense-memory. Let's pop our "happy place" in a filing cabinet to revisit some time in late November, when our buzz has turned to a sigh.

Of course, not everyone gets a new-term spring in their step. Some perennially jaded educators choose not to leave the profession, preferring instead to trudge resentfully on. Those people would do well to resuscitate the memory of their teaching origins.

I had no celestial calling pulling me into the profession. I became a teacher because my mate told me to.

At the time, I was a TV comedy writer, but I had lost the will to smile having suffered yet another miscarriage. As a way of helping me through the grief, a friend - an FE lecturer - organised a few treats. In one memorable week, she took me to see Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama (His Holiness wasn't standing in for Kenny Rogers - they were sharing the love consecutively at my local arena).

I've long counted Dolly as one of my guiding lights. …

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