This is a question I have been mulling over for a while. I loved school (geek alert). I was lucky to have some really inspiring teachers who really made their subjects come to life for me. However when it came to university study, teaching didn’t even cross my mind. Why be a teacher when you could be something much more glamorous like a journalist, translator or advertising exec?
I then spent two years in Japan teaching English on the JET Programme. Two of the best years of my life, I admired my co workers, I loved the foreign community and thoroughly enjoyed building relationships with my students and watching them learn and succeed. I knew I loved teaching in Japan, but teaching outside Japan? I’m sure it would be a much tougher ask.
In comes Teach First, a charity intent on providing equal education for all. They train young graduates on the job by placing them in tough schools, the idea being that their youth and positive energy will be a motivator for the students. It spoke to me, and for the first time I thought, I could be a teacher, I should be a teacher, should I just do it? But with no guarantee I could stay in London while on the two year program, I had to say no.
So I’m still mulling.. but I have taken a small step. I now teach one on one English lessons to a Japanese family once a week. I support a four year old boy to build confidence in his English listening skills and help his housewife mother practice small talk so she can make conversation at the school gates when she drops off her son. It is fast becoming the highlight of my week, I love the creativity it brings out in me.
They say write about what you know, and that has plagued me for a long time when thinking about starting a blog. As I feel like, of course there are lots of things I know, but nothing I know lots about. Not in the kind of in-depth and passionate way you would need to, to base a whole blog around it. I’m more of a Jack of all trades, master of none. So eureka moment, I have decided to write about what I don’t know. Particularly, what I don’t know about what I want to do with my life. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and as most would consider me already grown, I had better hurry up.
Let me give you a bit of background. I was good at school and so continued on to university. I studied Japanese and English at university and had my sights firmly set on the JET Programme, an exchange program for young graduates to teach English in Japanese public schools and be ambassadors in the communities we’re placed in. It is notoriously hard to get a place on the program however I was one of the lucky ones and 6 months after I finished uni I flew off to Japan in the hopes of finding myself and my passions. I loved it! But two years later I was no closer to deciding what I wanted to do with my life. I got back to New Zealand and worked in a cafe for six months while attending two fabulous weddings and sorting myself out for a move to London. My attitude when looking for a job two years ago when I arrived in London was “I’ll do anything they will let me”, and luckily so far, it has worked out quite well.
I decided at the end of last year that I was done with floating around. I wanted a clear goal to work towards. I also want to find something that really challenges me and engages my brain. So I am taking action and devoting 2014 to exploring my options. I’m going to look into all those far off musings I’ve had over the years about what I want to be, and there have been so many, and start taking them seriously. I’m going to spend about a month on each idea and really look into it, maybe start volunteering, study, read blogs, speak to others in the industry. Who knows where I’ll end up, but I’m excited.