Word Count 833
A friends wedding nearly six years ago prompted me to start considering where I was heading. It may have been the beginning of the "mid-life" crisis or a realisation that we were heading for major changes in my career path at the time. At the time I did not realise quite how much of the crowd I was!
An interesting career that had experienced a lot change up to that point http://www.linkedin.com/in/philipspalding66, was about to become more interesting. I sat down in the pre-wedding gathering in Weymouth (it had only just been announced as an Olympic venue) and contemplated the 10 year plan. I made a statement that I would not be teaching full time in the classroom by the age of 50 (Eddie Izzard's new 40!). I had an early night on the final night went back to the B & B. Early next morning I boarded the ferry from Weymouth to Jersey.
In Jersey I stayed at my usual hotel in St Helier, the Mountview, and contemplated my statement. I had a few pints in the more traditional pubs in the West End of St Helier. A very good one with sporting prints from "antique" times was the venue to watch the Test Match and listen to the sage at the bar who also turned out to be the chairman of the Jersey Cricket Federation. Picked the right pub! But then you only have to look at the outside of the pub sometimes and know it is not going to be just q quick half to test the beer and atmosphere.
A few days of visiting my distant cousins in the north of the island (http://www.durrell.org/). The orangutans seemed well, the funky gibbons were being funky. They share an enclosure to simulate the Sumatran and Borneo rain forest habitat. By the end of the break as I flew back into Stansted I had a bit of a plan. Not quite a cunning plan but one that had light at the end of the tunnel which did not seem to be generated by a Eurostar!
Another year on from this the following August and certain career paths appeared to be getting narrower (now we see the result good or bad? http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk_cabinet_member_under_fire_after_suffolk_slumps_in_league_tables_1_1472060 ). I was sitting in the bar in Pefki, Rhodes with a good friend shooting the wind as we prepared for the Wedding. A Rhodian escape started to be planned. The mad engineer friend of mine combined with the agri-IT-scientist-teacher came up with a cunning plan. A sustainable living/ well being plan, but in essence still a plan.
Two days alter back at work and the plan was shelved for another year until I went to Crete. Fabulous island, cradle of European civilisation (forget mainland Greece)! Schools Organisational Review (SOR) was just stating to come in and Haverhill along with Lowestoft was in the firing line. A little bit of relaxation in Hersonissos led to realisation that work-life balance was really not balanced favourably on the cliff edge. A couple of good nights spent in the company of a very attractive and relaxed Irish girl from Dublin and we started planning again!
The plan was expressed graphically in the Logo above. Sometimes you do not always need to write things down since the written word can always be misinterpreted by "experts". Visit to a local print shop, and day later had the plan on a disc, five polo shirt (I went there and got the Polo Shirt, T-shirts were not good enough quality). Scratch Rhodes, Crete would appear to be part of the plan!
So back to work and another year of battling career change I finally hit the buffers. An article in the Harvard business review started me thinking. A position I had occupied through major career traumas such Ofsted, special measures, six (not really sure if some were actually allowed to be) head teachers and school federation was that of a Middle Manager. The Harvard Review produced some insights (http://2pointfiveageofman.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/death-of-middle-manager.html). I had started to blog by this time. The following March, I made a clean break and walked away from the pressure of achieving continual goals against the trickle down management culture of similar to First World War Generals. Whistle goes and then over top! (Blackadder Goes Fourth clip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IglUmgYGxLM).
Two years on from the break with the treadmill and the BlackAdder goes Fourth clip seems apt in the context of the East Anglia Daily Times article http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk_cabinet_member_under_fire_after_suffolk_slumps_in_league_tables_1_1472060.
Still have weathered all this, the ten year plan is half way through!. I have achieved the stated aim of not needing to be in the classroom full time or managing change (for change sake?). Last time I jumped out of a plane I definitely had a parachute, this time I have to construct it on the way down! Necessity does become the midwife of creativity and invention! Here is to more blogging and on ward and upward up with up hill skiing!
Καλημέρα σας και είναι εδώ για τα επόμενα πέντε χρόνια! Ή θα έπρεπε να είναι ένα νέο σχέδιο δέκα χρόνια!