Saturday, December 03, 2011

Last day

Open space ...
Last day at St Luke's came to a somewhat sad close as I packed up my desk. Everything I needed to keep all fit into my backpack, and a lot of paper went in the bin. I guess I'm lucky that most of my work is already digital and constantly with me anyway.

Thanks for the year must go to:
Chris: An excellent mentor and unfortunate neighbour to cope with all my questions.
Cassie: A great HoD who gave me a lot of support with my wild ideas for teaching. Thanks for all the help in verification, moderation and reporting.
Martin: Helped guide me into teaching when it was really only a wistful idea. His support and that of the school has given me the absolute best transition into teaching that I could have hoped for.

I know I'll be back next year in a limited capacity, but it really felt like leaving for good. St Luke's has been a wonderful place to work at for the past 6 years, and I'll have many fond memories & friends from the experience.

So why leave?

I'd been constantly asked that by all sorts of people at St Luke's. I had a standard response, and longer response and a how-long-have-you-got response, but really it came down to a feeling of entrapment. I've been heavily involved with computers and IT for the majority of my life, and even while teaching I would have put IT as about 2/3rds of my focus. Without the ability to teach IPT in the senior curriculum there's a big chance that I'd have to lose more and more of that IT experience as I become more heavily teacher focused. If I kept going, there would be a good chance that I would be teaching for 3 years or more, and that would pretty much rule me out of returning to the IT industry. I still like teaching, but resigning was a way to force me to look for other opportunities that may have both an IT and teaching focus.

There are many companies that are getting close to my vision of future learning and maybe I should be working heavily in that area. I know I don't have the entrepreneurial drive to go out by myself, but if I could guide some other companies a little closer to the end goal, then that would be a worthwhile contribution.

I'm still keen on giving University lecturing or some form of adult education a go. I have strong reservations about the way Universities are when MOOCs and open learning are becoming viable alternatives, but I'm not sure how to monetise the new breed of courses. What I definitely want to do is to put more work into my own model. Flesh out all the parts into a full design. Hopefully this will both force me to look beyond my own ideas and see what else is out there for referencing, and also help isolate specific opportunities to aim toward.

There is also some local opportunities to get back into tech support and business analysis. I must say that the best part about contract programming was getting right into the heart of a business and looking for ways to improve existing processes (whether that was through a program or not). If that opportunity comes up like I imagine, it will be a good change.

On the programming front, I'm also keen on getting back into working with Notorious. I'd made a bit of progress last time Andrew came down, but when I'm teaching it really felt like any time devoted to anything else was guilt-ridden. I think that'll be another post...

Like David, I'm also keen on getting back into more regular blogging. This one is a pretty good sign that being out of teaching mode will help.