7 months since I opened, 10 months since I had the first thought of becoming an entrepreneur (Is that what I am??), here are my top 5 moments!
I am working with my year 11 group. They are writing persuasive letters. A lad with dyslexia writes a complaint about bad service at a restaurant. I read it. I laugh. It's funny! I look at him; his face lights up. He's so pleased to have got it right and I can see his confidence soar. This is what it's all about.
It's early November and my upper primary class are reading extracts from Private Peaceful by Michael Murpurgo. I'm enthusiastically reading a section from the end of the book where Charlie, Tommo and their friends are running across no-man's land fleeing shells and sheltering from mud and blood. My little group are also in no-mans-land only their shells are all on in their head and no-man's land is my garden, brought on by Murpurgo's fabulous writing and my frantic reading. They are there in the moment, rolling on the floor, shouting, screaming, making the noises of the artillery and loving it. This is what it's all about.
Sat with a 1-1 student who has autism and struggles socially. When she first started, she wouldn't look me in the eye. A few weeks in and she is rolling around laughing at a deep conversation we are having about the pros and cons of romantic literature. She is deeply critical of newfangled romantic literature where the boys all have golden eyes and hair and walk around with a strut in their step. She much prefers the likes of Mr Rochester and Mr Darcy. This is what it's all about.
It's a Friday night; in days gone by I would have taught all day and would still be sat in my classroom marking books. Today, we are starting our lesson using the six tree stumps I have in the garden to hot-seat and we finish it letter-writing on the decking as the sun starts to lower. The sky is blue, the birds are singing and the kids are working hard. This is what it's all about!
It's Tuesday. I don't want to do any work. I don't do any work. I go for a run. This is what it's all about.
Teaching is great; it's often exciting, always varied and rewarding in a way that I'm sure few jobs can be. Teaching at Word Academy is even better!