Sunday, 1 October 2017

Education Sunday

We have now started the new year and I'm sure the lazy, relatively carefree days seem little more than a distant dream for teachers. 

For many churches across the UK, they mark the start of the academic year with a service dedicated to schools, colleges and universities - recognising the important work they can do for society. 

Over the years I have been asked to speak at various schools for INSET days and it has been a privilege and a pleasure to do so - allowing me in turn to see different settings and meet colleagues in different (as well as similar) situations. I also have a fairly regular slot with the University of Manchester, providing opportunity to meet new recruits to the profession - I always appreciate the enthusiasm and open-mindedness new teachers seem to have. 

Neither are 'easy' assignments for me in terms of the prep and the nerves that go with them - but they're worthwhile and something I enjoy. So, it was with a level of trepidation that I said 'yes' to an invite from a local church to co-lead their 'Education Sunday' service alongside a trained worship leader (of around 50 years service!). 

The request was simple but challenging - to talk about my life as a teacher, explaining the work I do now in the field of social, emotional and mental health needs but also to reflect on my journey as a teacher. 

On drafting it, the worship leader Maureen then put together the prayers, readings and songs around the key themes. I also very much appreciated her advice in terms of putting the address together, in particular her advice that if you 'get in the flow' and pen something down, be careful not to come back to it later and 'pick it to pieces' with a view to perfectionism.

Anyway, I gave it my best shot and it went down well, if that's the right way of putting it!

You can read what I had to say here