There is so much in business and learning that feels like you are climbing. Climbing a wall, climbing a mountain, climbing a ladder… In each situation, a different object makes a good analogy. And yet, climbing is very tiring.
Since starting Bioactive Learning, I have had to get good at a great many new tasks. I have had to become acquainted with tax and finances related to running a business and HMRC requirements. I have had to become familiar with website design and marketing, including designing publicity materials. I have also had to start devising resources and planning my own ‘curriculum’ – a luxury that has thus far been absent from my career as a teacher! I have also had to consider how much my time is worth and devise fair prices that actually allow me to cover my costs, which has been a huge challenge, as I have never been required to do anything even vaguely similar.
Finally, I have had to design activities and seek sources of my materials and venues. Again, these are things that I have never had to do. How I appreciate my own classroom/lab and lab technicians now!! Equally, the level of autonomy that this affords me is amazing. To be able to decide what I want to teach and how is brilliant, if hard work.
I know that each time I carry out a study session, or a club, the learning that takes place is immense. Not just for those that I am hoping to teach, but for myself too. I have found that the self-reflection processes that are expected to be formalised in form-filling in the early stages of your teaching career, but long since put aside for the more mundane of pursuits, such as marking and planning, when a more experienced teacher, are now being sought and utilised. Each session triggers a short thought process where I seek to check whether I feel I met my objectives and what I would do better next time. In the classroom, this is often both frequently revisited when you have the same class again, or teach the same topic again, but in business, it seems that sometimes, you have just one chance to make it happen.
I hope that, by admitting to my relative novice status in all of this, and by honestly saying ‘I’m still learning too!’ I can develop and build a valuable and loyal customer base, and grow with the children I am helping to learn. And I hope that I have the energy to keep on climbing!!