From time to time, over the years, I have thought about what I might say when I eventually left Jordanhill. (Is that odd? To rehearse a speech years in advance? I also plan my eight records for Desert Island Discs - surely I'm not alone in that... I am? Oh, well...) Given the chance, I'm sure some of the stories mentioned above would have found their way in to a speech but since there was no formal leaving do, there were no speeches. But ever since that first meeting where I heard The Wizard Of Oz farewell speech, I have often thought of film connections that could feature in a farewell speech. When I started the process of applying for a teaching post though, the choice of film title was obvious: it had to be Back To The Future.
Why is this obvious? Well, when I was in my final year at university, I had to start applying for jobs and I had to ask myself what I wanted to do with my Computing degree. My colleagues were getting jobs in industry and I did fill in a couple of forms to apply for those kind of jobs, but my heart wasn't in it. Then I heard from a friend that you could go to Jordanhill and train as a Computing teacher... and it was clear. That's what I would do. I knew that my colleagues were starting jobs at double the salary I could get as a teacher but once it was there as an option, teaching was the obvious choice. For example, while friends were getting summer jobs that would help them move into industry, what did I do? I got a job teaching children programming (on ZX Spectrums!) at an activity holiday centre in Eastbourne. Why? Because I realised that's what I liked doing. I enjoyed working with computers but I enjoyed working with children too (through Scripture Union, BB, Bible Class, church youth groups...). Teaching Computing was the obvious choice. Teaching was hard work and there were aspects I struggled with but I loved teaching children about Computing.
So going back. Back to the job I chose as a young graduate. Back to a job I loved. But not back to the past. Because, like the film, while I'm going back, I'm going with all the knowledge and experience I've gained over the last twenty plus years. And I'm going back at a time of change, to new qualifications that are still in development. I'm going back to new courses. Not a black and white future but a glorious chaos of colour. The future!
It is worth repeating that I have loved working at Jordanhill but I am looking forward to getting back to school.
I'm going back... back to the future!
(Check out the advert for my old job if you think it is something that would interest you but since the closing date for applications is 8 August, you might be a bit late!)