Thought for the day provided by random pen in my session room #eurocall2017 pic.twitter.com/jZUfzXIw6b— Teresa MacKinnon (@WarwickLanguage) August 26, 2017
With thanks to @davidhopkins for prompting me to write this!
Last summer I was delighted to get confirmation that my CMALT status has been extended until 2020. With it came the suggestion that my submission could have included reflection on where my career will go next. Well, that really would have required greater powers of prediction than I have. We all know the question don't we: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?"
From when I first started out in teaching back in the 1980's I have always been very aware of the importance of setting career goals and I have had what some might call a successful career. I moved into teaching management early on, becoming a Head of French after just 2 years in the job. I have been very deliberate in managing a portfolio of my work in order to navigate my way through the many challenges of having a family, balancing their needs with my own. I took the risk of changing sectors - hence la modification , investing time and energy in professional development, learning and contributing to my communities, supporting and mentoring others. It has been this approach which more recently has shaped my goals, which have become less about my career and more about what I believe to be important: addressing social injustice and working for fairer access to education for all.
Perhaps this means as I have got older I am less interested in being driven and more interested in who is driving! That's not to say I have decelerated my career though. When I became a teacher I was very aware of the privilege of becoming a member of a professional community. I have been shocked by the drive to de-professionalise my profession, successive politicians have undermined the importance of real people working as communities of practitioners, focusing instead upon target setting and league tables. Forgetting the humans at the heart of human learning. As a result there is a huge recruitment crisis in education and a real risk that UK young people will not have access to the learning they deserve. Social inequality is greater in the UK than ever with 4 million young people growing up in poverty.
So my personal career progression seems rather unimportant by comparison. It would probably also rely on completing a PhD. This would mean diverting financial resources away from my family to achieve an ambition. That's a club too far. If I do get there it won't be through the UK system as the financial cost is too high.
I take greater pride in these developments:
- being part of the EVOLVE project a 3 year project to scale up virtual exchange
- continuing my commitments to the ALT and Eurocall communities on the Open Ed Sig and the CMC sig
- the creation and delivery of a new module for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures: LN306 will focus on Developing Language Teaching to provide a new generation of creative language teachers who will pick up the challenges of the digital realm.
In 2020 I will be 60 years old. I doubt that I will grow old gracefully, never been my style!