Having undertaken a qualification in secondary English teaching, I am familiar with the concept of a work placement. As a student teacher you are required to undertake three separate placements, two lasting 6 weeks and one lasting 4 weeks. These are full-time, and you can feel like they go on forever. In publishing, when completing an MSc at Edinburgh Napier, you are hoping to take on a part-time or temporary placement, not required,but the aim of each is to provide valuable experience. For me this time, instead of teaching Curriculum for Excellence English lessons to teenagers in north Glasgow, I was packing my bag and heading to Floris Books, an award-winning children’s book publisher in Edinburgh. The opportunity to work at Floris Books as their Sales and Marketing intern is a rare and exciting one. Floris take on one intern a year, usually advertising the position from about October to university students at Edinburgh Napier and Stirling, before the role commences in January. This year, they’d chosen me. Continue reading “A placement at Floris Books – what I learned about publishing (and had thought to ask).”
As I have reached the crumbly age of 33, you may be forgiven for thinking it has been several years since I was in any classroom. Admittedly, it has been a while since I was on the other side of the desk, looking out from hastily scribbled notes at the lecture slides (or, if I am to perhaps reveal too much about my earlier education, at the overhead projector acetates.). However, you may be surprised to learn that it has only been five months since I said goodbye to my classroom. Five brief, whirlwind months since I packed up my books and lesson plans, gave away resources I had developed over the past seven years, thanked colleagues and mentors, wished my students well and walked away from a career in English teaching.
Many are in a similar position to me. Many young (at heart, thanks) teachers are leaving teaching positions across the country to pursue different careers. It is predicted that over the next 18 months, over 40% of teachers in Scotland are planning to leave education due to the stresses of the job, the unrealistic workload or the mountain of administrative duties which has been increasingly piled on them in recent years. I can’t speak for all of these teachers. I can’t say whether my myriad experiences as a secondary teacher in Scotland mirrors any of theirs. And this is not that story. This is about my new journey, my venture into the world of words, this time from a different perspective. Continue reading “Back to school”