A career change from media charity work into education was described to members of Dover Rotary Club by fellow club member Simon Hare, who has just completed teacher training at Folkestone.
Simon, who has recently returned to the UK after a vacation in the Asian earthquake zone, is about to start teaching in a State school in Birchington. While on holiday in Asia he twice had to vacate his hotels as, at one stage, he was just 60 miles from the epicentre of a quake.
After graduating from university Simon was in advertising and then took a media post with a charity organisation operating in Cambodia and Peru providing education to handicapped and poor children.
But his talk was about his experience as a trainee teacher, partly at Folkestone School for Girls where he began by observing trained teachers and then teaching himself. “One can try to run away from a building in an earthquake but you can’t run when faced with a classroom of children,” he commented.
Simon, who is now to teach French and Spanish, told how he had to write 200 reports on the progress of children in his classes and mentioned the concern there is about the regular loss of teachers and low recruitment. He also referred to the growing competitiveness between schools to attract students and increasing competitiveness between the young people that can lead to psychological and health problems.