Flipping the Script
Picture it, the first day of a new academic year, a class full of eager Year 5 pupils and a teacher standing in front of them, arm in a cast, bruised and battered after being involved in a pretty nasty motorbike accident a week previously.
I imagine that most teachers remember their first day in front of their first class. Mine was unforgettable and after four years at university no one and nothing was going to take away that precious first day of my new career. Not even a wrist fracture, cuts, grazes and colourful bruising.
This was 2003, and my NQT year despite its unusual start, flew by. I was amongst great colleagues, amazing pupils and their families. My teaching career flourished all whilst remaining at the same school. I worked in different year groups, led year groups, was a subject leader and more recently was Deputy Head. I had absolutely no desire to move on to a different school, let alone change profession. I even had a nice easy journey in each day; living close enough to my school yet far enough away if you get my meaning! Sounds almost perfect, right? For me it absolutely has been and the experiences and opportunities I’ve had I am forever grateful for along with the camaraderie and spirit of my colleagues.
So then, how on earth did this happen?
For about ten years I’d had it my mind that I’d like to be a Civil Celebrant. I don’t want to bore you with the ins and outs of how this interest came about especially as, yet again, it does include some more soppy information about how supportive and amazing my workplace have been. I kept this interest to myself for a long time but willingly gave readings at weddings and funerals when people asked. However, at a New Year’s Eve gathering in 2016 I finally told my friends that I’d like to be a Celebrant, thinking that saying it out loud would give me the push I needed to get going.
It didn’t. I plodded on as usual, ignoring the little voice in my heart trying to steer me in a new direction. In August 2019 I did a transitions course with Did Teach and it opened my eyes to the world outside of education. The course gave me the opportunity to evaluate my skills and interests and also the realisation that I could make a career change whenever I felt ready. But was I ready?
September arrived and I got back into the groove of the new academic year but that voice in my heart was getting louder so I began training to be a Celebrant in my spare time. The wheels were definitely in motion. Then, towards the end of the first term I sat with my boss (on her birthday of all days) and words just tumbled out of my mouth about how I was feeling.
So here I am, a Celebrant and Voice Actor. Yes, Voice Actor. Another longstanding dream of mine. You can find out more about what I do by visiting www.harmonyheart.co.uk
I am constantly learning, connecting with new people, and quite literally buzzing. For over 16 years I have had a very specific routine and it has been a massive adjustment finding a new one. I am at the start of a new adventure; I do not know what will happen but what I do know is this. Teaching is a wonderful profession and as I’m sure you can tell, I have immense gratitude and respect for the colleagues, pupils and parents I’ve had the pleasure of working with. But when you are ready to make a change you will know it and just trust that there will be people out there to support you and cheer you on.