Junction 19 on the M6 leads to Winsford. There are other ways to get to Winsford, but it’s the route I took very early in September, 2013.
I found out that Winsford was my destination in Norway. Being abroad, not so very long ago, meant reading papers a day behind their publication and the occasional phone call home. Now WiFi hotspots enable Foogle Hangouts, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and the rest. Far away but close to home. However, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords don’t have an abundance of WiFi hotspots. However, a little like cigarette smokers outside pubs, restaurants and cafe’s, unsecured hotspots can be spotted by people congregating in clusters. So there, on a rainy day in August in Alesund (the home of John Arne Riise) I picked up the first job since the start of Opportunity Knocks.
Training secondary school teachers was the task. After quite a few years of being involved with Nursery to Y6 children the idea of standing in front of grown people (it’s not the same as Teachmeets) was terrifying and as I drove up the slip road of Junction 19 I wanted to turn right, go round the roundabout and take the slip road back onto the M6 and head for home. I felt physically sick.
I didn’t, and the two days work meant I earned my first money (I do have a wife, three grown up children and a grandson called Charlie to support….as well as an LFC Season Ticket) and got to stay on a couple more days doing something called “Floorwalking” which is kind of like being an ICT Co-ordinator in a primary school but without the teaching. I met some good people and it was really nice to be asked if I had a evaluation sheet to fill in (for good reasons).
The following week was a bit more floor walking and a visit to a local school to start an iPad project. Three lovely days in my own school. Reception, Y1 and Y6. One of my good friends helped with a connection to a pretty large national organisation that does training in different parts of the country. So I started heading off on train adventures to Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and the very impressive South Camden City Learning Centre. Doing things that you can do but have never done is excitingly different. Evaluation sheets at the end of each course is a new experience…..lesson observations x10!
Going back into my Y3 class after these adventures for my two days teaching was another different opportunity.
The days when I was not “working” were very busy. Saturday mornings were catching up with accounts and Row7Education paper work. I had invitations to visit and talk to people in different schools about using computers in different ways and met with different companies doing fab things in education.
Not really knowing when and where the next bit of money is coming from causes anxiety, but at the moment things are ok. The New Year brings new adventures. A rather grand invitation to take part in the development of The Children’s Museum