Yesterday I had the pleasure and very rare opportunity to catch up with an old friend for a brainstorm day. Stuart Goodwin of Goodrow Productions, an actor and creator of drama workshops. We first met in 1996 and he worked in our record label’s inner circle from 1999 to 2004 since then we try to work on some artistic project every few years.
Chatting away this question came up…
20 years later is anything greater?
Seriously… apart from technology, what has really changed?
For you, within you?
So here is the ’20 years later staff room challenge of DOOOOOM! Mwah ha ha!’
Sorry I am not great at making funky titles! And Brian Blessed was unavailable for the jingle at the time of writing (admit it you read the title again in his voice, if you didn’t try it, it’s fun).
I want to share this article to hopefully convince colleagues to chat, share, laugh at the stories that made you well…YOU!
Sharing makes us reconnect with ourselves, our colleagues, and our future plans.
Questions to ask:-
Where were you 20 years ago?
What did you learn?
How did it help you communicate so well you became a teacher?
What makes you laugh the most, have fun with this…
What was the soundtrack to those times…
I made a playlist for my commute called Songs That Mean Something. Just a side note, using the official chart company website and playing songs that your class listened to a few years ago soon links a classroom and raises goodwill just before Christmas. Even the toughest 6th former likes the Spice Girls!
What would you change if you could go back.
What is the one lesson / message you wish you could get across to your class as a result of your life 20 years ago?
What did you do that you used to enjoy, that you now no longer do?
I am sure there are more questions but that should be enough to get this staff room challenge started.
At the end of this article if you’re interested, I will answer these questions to get you started.
Anyway, I digress…back to the conversation yesterday.
We fell into a pit of stories and happy memories, things we couldn’t laugh about then but can now and some I can’t understand even two decades later.
You see, I have not always been in this education business (my old boss would say I’m still not, but being as he was the reason I set up EarnLearn.co.uk, who cares!?
This is my story but not a ‘woe is me’. I use this story as the background for almost 90% of my work with schools, colleges and universities.
Kris Akibussi once told me, ‘the past is for reference never for residence’. So True.
20 years ago, this was me:
The 25 year old me was a very different animal, back from a serious emotional roller-coaster not only rebuilding a broadcasting career that stalled just on the brink of national daytime radio between the ages of 14-23. I chased fame and almost got there.
As a result in 1997, my girlfriend left me (I honestly don’t blame her as I was always touring) and I lost my home and I spent a few months couch-surfing and sleeping rough. I was over £100k in debt following a bad investment in a business, a life filled with anxiety and depression and weighed 6 stone and struggled to cope.
I considered taking my own life.
But a single song hitting the radio where I was staying, stopped me.
It was time to claim my life back.
It took two years but in 1999. All my debt was paid off, never a CCJ or court letter. I never begged just worked over 200 agency jobs to chase the dream.
I still had £0 in the bank, but could I go from no GCSE qualifications to university, could it be done? Thousands do it every year, but back then to me it seemed like an impossible task.
Along the way these amazing and hard hitting stories happened…
(bullet points, make talking points! This isn’t everything that happened. It’s just my way of prompting you to really try this challenge.)
- I started an international record label with no money and 4 mates (Stuart was one).
- I had music played all over the world, did over 100,000 miles in a year without leaving the UK.
- Met Caroline, my wife in 2001.
- Lost my band-mate, Damien, to a brain tumour in 2004. I walked away and handed his family all our royalties. We miss him everyday. We always ask in any situation…“What would D Do?”
- Passed my Degree.
- Got Married, Caroline claims it was an accident. To be fair, I did disguise the church as a giant kitten to get her inside before she could run. #papermache –https://www.ultimatepapermache.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cat-Pattern.pdf
- Added a teaching qualification.
- A MSc – trust me, I’m almost a Scientist.
- Performed lectures, classes and tutorials all over the UK to over 20,000 students.
- Become involved in Motorsport teams and projects, as a driver, coach, and researcher.
All these memories shape my decisions, future commitments to lifelong learning and also the content that allows me to communicate with my audiences.
This exercise hopefully will give you a new perspective of how far you have come and the value you have to the classes you deliver. The lives you shape and change – EVERYDAY!
So here is my entry to the ’20 years later staff room challenge of DOOOOOM! Mwah ha ha!’ #FunctionalNotCatchy.