The Teaching Branch

 

Teaching. It is the arena in which I always thought my career would be built and nurtured. As a young child, my work-related aspirations focused on writing, on someday becoming an author, and on being an English teacher. And, even when I had those typical moments of wavering—perhaps I could be a barrister or maybe even an advertising executive?—still I always came back to that one role: being a teacher. However, life twists and turns, and a lack of confidence in public speaking and an ever-increasing social anxiety seemed to take their toll, and soon the prospect of teaching was something I couldn’t even imagine tackling, and so I took an alternate route—notably not a less valuable or satisfying role; just one that was slightly different—and thus an editor cum writer cum publishing consultant was shaped.

Times are changing, however, and teaching (nor learning) isn’t what it once was. Of course, I’ve recognised this over the years; technology has changed everything, from the ways we communicate and how we do business to how we find relationships and how we share our lives—and teaching is no exception.

Introducing the concept of e-learning; a teaching platform growing in popularity and more prevalent learner-use each and every day.

It was this time last year when a long-term client of mine—importantly, one of the most successful women in her country and someone for whom I have a huge amount of respect—directed my attention to an amazing opportunity. She discussed the details of a particular teaching platform, and how she felt learners across the globe could benefit from my expertise and experience in various domains. My interest was piqued: could I really teach? In the days that followed, discussions were had and research was conducted, and, suddenly, my then-already overflowing workdays looked set to become buried under yet more tasks, less time, more aspirations, but greater achievements.

But then, of course, life threw me a curve-ball, and so plans were put away—temporarily, of course, but put away nonetheless.

The necessary equipment has sat in lonely cupboards and boxes, packed away and gathering dust. The thousands of words, penned and saved, forming the blueprint of courses, have patiently waited to be padded out. My teaching profile has lay idle, accumulating daily followers who wait for news, yet not hearing a whisper.

But things change. Time moves; oh so slowly but then all at once. Grains of sand filter through domed glass. And curve-balls journey forward, pursuing other directions.

My professional life is already brimming and requires attention in different ways; books sit half-written, clients require attention, and an abundance of business literature screams to be rewritten. But it seems inherent in me not to let an opportunity pass me by or to fail to embrace greater diversity in my career portfolio. And, of course, in some small way, this is something I need to do in order to satisfy the goals of a little girl who used to be me. If I achieve this last thing on her list, she’ll know, then, that everything she wanted was possible.

I expect the process to be slow and complicated, but it’s like anything in life: you reap what you invest. The tasks will be cumbersome and long-winded: there is a need for me to devise and package courses that demonstrate my skillset and teach what is fundamental in my field; I will need to master feeling comfortable and at ease in front of the camera, and consider how to overcome the anxieties that go hand-in-hand with this; I will need to learn additional skills—video editing as just a starting point. But the opportunity is too unique and too valuable to pass up.

And so, after much delay, Hayley Paige, Lecturer, is set to be born. I aim for Summer—June/July—for the launch of my first course. That gives me four months…

Plenty of time.

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