Friday, June 10, 2016

5. Modern Joys

What happens to all of the modern "Joys of Life" after 2 years of not being able to work?

Yep, you guessed it. They all go away. Goodbye house, second car, camper trailer. So here I am 37 years old, a wife, two kids, a little bit of furniture and a small apartment.

What do I do now?  Well, you spend some time like learning to walk again at the pace of a caterpillar! Then you head to university to become a technology teacher, why waste all of those years of experience and training right?!

So after a successful year in university I go to a Job Fair and for a hoot I put my name into a school in England.

Wife says there is no way we are going to England...

Then I get a call from the school in England on Victoria Day, I thought it was a joke, I mean don’t they celebrate the Queen’s birthday there too? Turns out it’s a different day in England. Anyway, they want me and are willing to fly me and my family, as long as I commit to one year. I stayed for 7 years.

So, I get to England and start teaching and find out my qualifications are not good enough, so teach during the day and more part time university at night. And 3 years later, I get an honours degree, and I am a now fully qualified to teach in two countries, still love teaching. This is my calling, work my way up to second in charge of the Technology department when the head of department’s wife gets Cancer.  Two other teachers leave, the head of department and his wife are out for health reasons, two teachers are untrained and I have a whole new department of new teachers learning all these subjects... and the school is going through a yearlong Ofsted school inspection. Can it get any worse?

Yep, unfortunately one of my new teachers had died half-way through the year unexpectedly, and now I really work myself silly for the whole year; Writing lesson plans, writing reports,  providing training and keeping all the subjects running, let alone actually teaching students!

The department is still doing great, very high grade average, beyond target even. To celebrate? The school hires the husband of one of the Geography teachers in to be my new boss. Wait…  What’s going on? This can’t be right, this guy has no idea how to teach all of these subjects!

At this point my son is finished A-Levels, my daughter has completed her GCSE’s, and I can’t take anymore! I am done; we are going back to Canada!

Although my time teaching in England was over, I feel I was very successful. I had above 90% pass rate, most of my students not only enjoyed my subjects but did extremely well and all of my engineering students now either have a trade certification or engineering degree.

Got a message from one just last week, thanking me for giving him the love of engineering!  He now works for Warner Brothers, making sets and you may have even seen his work in the movies Harry Potter, Wonder Woman and the Justice League.

When I became a teacher, I searched out my old English teacher, who was now working for a brain injury charity organization, to thank him and explain how he changed my life. I remember a moment on the phone call where he choked up and I could tell I brought a tear to his eye and filled him with joy.

When student’s find you years later to thank you for what you helped them with, it is the greatest feeling in the world. I have received that call several times since I left England, and each time it has brought a tear to my eyes and great joy to my soul and this feeling never diminishes. 

Back in Canada, I take a year off teaching to work at a satellite internet company and recover my mental strength. Help my son buy a house, and move in with him to pay the bills while he goes off and studies at university to get his degree.

Then I take a job in a private school as a teacher and technology integrator. I turn a chalkboard school into a high tech interactive white board school with multimedia in each classroom. Love this job; Love the school and the staff. Everything is going great and then I get a cold... but that's for another time.

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