Ever since I can remember, my purpose has been wrapped up in work, being busy, doing things for other people and generally staying focused on what comes next.
When I was at home with my children (which feels like many years ago now) I knew my purpose was to be a ‘mum’ and to look after them and help them feel safe and secure. To help them grow and learn and to help them navigate the world. That doesn’t, hasn’t and won’t change or stop, no matter how old they get. However, that purpose was at odds with what I thought I should be doing. Often, in the early days of being at home all the time, I felt rudderless and purposeless. I realise now that I felt at a bit of a loss and had tied my identity up in working that I didn’t know what my purpose was without work.
To keep my mind active and to find a purpose for myself, outside of being a mum, I did an OU degree in English Literature. It was hard, but I was at home full time, so was able to study in the evenings in order to be a teacher. I’d reclaimed my purpose through learning. I’d left school at 17, having finished my Scottish Highers (which are the Scottish A-Levels) and thought I was done with education, for good, how glad I am to say that I was wrong! My younger brother and sister went to University and were the first in my immediate and extended family to have done so. University wasn’t something that I’d ever thought about or aspired to do. In fact, it wasn’t for people like me. But, when I wanted to teach, I knew there was only one way to get there and that was studying.
My purpose now, is helping others learn, instilling a love of learning and trying to engage students and other teachers in the rich beauty that learning offers. The love of learning and finding out something new and interesting keeps my purpose alive.
What comes next?
I’m doing an NPQSL and have completed the majority of the reading, so next up is the write up. I’ve signed up for the #UkEdChat online conference to talk about metacognition. I want to explore more areas relating to the psychology of learning to help me get better at what I do. I’m reading @teachgratitude1 Jamie Thom’s current book A Quiet Education and I’ve got @HuntingEnglish Alex Quigley’s book ‘Closing the Reading Gap’ lined up for next. I’m trying to take advantage of the time to reflect and think about the challenges that we currently face in helping students learn remotely and also how we help them upon our return to school.
My purpose is 100% related to teaching and I’m happy with that.