Childhood Ambitions My first choice of career was in agriculture. I was 5 years old and had a wonderful summer holidays on a farm. What could be more natural? It is a good thing we usually forget about our childhood ambitions; farmers get up at five in the morning everyday and that would probably not have suited me. After that, what else could I do? Both my parents were teachers. In fact, worse than that, they were teacher trainers. No way did I want to follow in their footsteps! On top of this, my mother used to say, “If you can’t spell, can’t be a teacher.” Well, spelling was not my strong point at the time. What to do? No idea! I really did not want to be a teacher! My Early Career So, my career, if you can call it a career, was a succession of different activities, including the following: gardener; factory worker; painter and decorator; building labourer; computer programmer; silk screen printer; civil servant; motorcycle courier; van driver; taxi driver; busker; administrator; market researcher; university lecturer. A Terrible Destiny You are probably thinking, “Where did that last one come from?” There came a point in my life when I decided that I should do something serious. I went to university and studied philosophy. I started a research degree … and then … I was, quite by chance, invited to do some teaching. I enjoyed it and have never looked back. There is no point in running away from one’s destiny. English Teacher After that, I trained in English language teaching because philosophy was not providing a regular income. I had thought of doing this before but I had never felt confident enough. However, once I started training, I realised it was for me. It is precisely my really wide experience of people, places, situations and occupations that helps me do my job well. I can usually find something in common with most of my students and have a good appreciation of all the cultural and social differences that you can find in an international classroom. So much better than being a farmer!
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