I have to admit that I am not a fan of inspirational quotes, those aphoristic phrases planted on top of someone laughing at a sunset or riding a bike off a cliff in somewhere that just might be Patagonia.
I have used them however at the beginning of lessons in order to start conversations with students, and there are a number of quotations or pieces of advice or more specifically sayings, that I like to use on my children on a regular basis, two of which are:
1. If someone gives you a present and a card (for example, for a birthday or Christmas) then you open the card first, read it fully, and say thank you before opening the present.
2. Do what you have to do in order to do what you want to do.
I use the latter one on students regularly as it is multi-purpose, including (as it happens) as a way of reintroducing my blog. I am a big believer in the fact that we need to constantly adapt and change in the modern world, whilst also holding on to our principles and beliefs as flexible anchors as we approach each new phase of our life.
My life has been a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly, sometimes for reasons out of my control but also sometimes for reasons that have been entirely (for good, bad & ugly) my doing. This blog post is the start of something good (I hope) that will develop over the next six months, reinventing some ideas of mine from the past whilst introducing others for the future, that will herald something of the direction that I expect my career and life will go over the next 5 to 10 years.
You may be reading this and thinking, ‘well this is all a bit vague’ and yes, yes it is, but it is part of me following my own advice and doing what I have to do in order to do what I want to do. The larger plan, of which this is merely an introduction, is about a sustainable career and personal life over the rest of my working life and beyond, and doing the things that I both need and want to do in order for that to happen.
However, I will give you one clue, if nothing else at this stage. I have named this plan Teaching+.