Thursday, 13 January 2022

Positive Jobs For Negative Times #1: The Difference

I realised yesterday that my consumption of Paracetamol has taken a nosedive since the end of October. I was on a couple of packets a week for most of last year, maybe more. One of many positive signs that my life has changed since leaving The Bad Place.

The opening of the hospital I was supposed to start work at in November was delayed for a number of reasons. All signs point towards it opening today, though I won't start there till Monday. In the meantime, I've been working at a large Children's Hospital in the area. (I'm not being secretive, just keeping the bots and google from dragging unwanted attention to these diary entries.) 

Teaching children on hospital wards, at bedside, is not something I signed up for, and I was initially daunted by the prospect. But actually, I love it. And I'm glad to say that I'll be continuing with that for two days a week even when I start working at the new location.

I got into teaching to make a difference to people's lives, but that was beaten out of me in college, where too often the priorities are either financial or putting on a masquerade for Ofsted (which in itself is motivated by finances). Teaching comes a distant third. In my new job though, teaching is the priority, and teachers are treated with trust and respect, as professionals... again, a million miles away from the second class citizens we were in FE.

In many cases, I'm teaching children who are going through the worst experience of their lives. But having an English lesson can bring a slice of normality to their day, and allow them to stop thinking about the bigger picture for an hour, and even the less academic among them seem to welcome the diversion. Away from peer pressure, the desire to look cool in front of their mates or at least not appear uncool by showing an interest in learning, many of them start to shine. And how often will they get the chance for one-to-one attention from a teacher who isn't drowning in marking, profiling, reporting and all the other unnecessary baggage yolked onto their Buckaroo saddle bags?

Making a difference... makes a big difference.


  1. So good to hear, first that you've really benefited from being away from The Bad Place, but mostly that you love your new job. Bravo, Rol!

  2. Good stuff Rol, glad it's working out and that you're making a difference to kids who really need it.

  3. Ah Rol, this is so heartening on every level. You really are making a difference, and it's making a difference for you too. Brilliant.

  4. A very positive post and so glad it all working out well for you. As you say, for some of the youngsters it might prove a turning point in their education, away from the distractions of regular schooling. Hope all goes well in the new place.


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