My masthead has been inaccurate of late. Since July I've not been an educational consultant in far-flung lands at all. Instead I've been a painter, a wall-paperer, a driving instructor, a gardener, and an odd jobs man around home. In short I've been unemployed and enjoying a break.
But now, after 4 months of career inaction, I'm back. Back in employment (thanks to Cognition Education) and back in those far-flung lands. I'm in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) right now, waiting for a lift to Al-Ain [pronounced Al (as in 'you can call me Al) - Ain (as in Elaine without the E)] where I am to work as a lead adviser in a cycle 2 school. These are middle schools - after primary, but before secondary.
This excites me no end. I've missed being in a school; a place I've lived in for the last 26 years. Schools are special places with their own individual worlds.
Each school world has it's own culture, it's own characters and customs and ways of doing things. There are leaders and helpers, outsiders who interact with the organisation, rules and regulations, parents and their children - all moving and working in a symbiotic relationship. The movement can be in a variety of directions but when all are working together in a positive way a school is a force to be reckoned with.
Being part of that world can be very special and for the most part I've enjoyed the experience. I have now worked in a variety of places: New Plymouth Boys' (NZ); Macleans College (NZ); Waimea College (NZ); Mt Albert Grammar (NZ); Cambridge High (NZ); King John (UK); Walthamstow Academy (UK); Stratford High (NZ).
In Doha I worked as a professional development trainer for Principals, and while I loved that work I was not associated with a school. Now in Al-Ain I will be able to rejoin a culture and work with the school and other advisers to bring about improvements in key areas.
As I said - exciting. Stay tuned!