(End of old blog posts from Blogger) How Ziggy Marley Got Me Into Teaching

I’m not a teacher in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t go to a school every day, write on the chalkboard or point my laser at the whiteboard. But I spend quite a bit of time showing people how to do things they didn’t know how to do before.

They say you must choose a job which is an extension of your true self. That’s teaching for me, and it sort of chose me. It was a circuitous route which started with Summer School and Ziggy Marley.

I can’t remember the year, but it was either 1978 or 1979. Patch can confirm. Mummy had this brilliant idea to send Sis and me to Patch’s prep school to help his Grade 6 teacher, Mrs Webb. We’d write lessons on the board, mark papers and so on. It was fun to write in red ink and put “wrong bangs” when they got things wrong!

Ziggy was in Patch’s class. He behaved like all the kids. No different. No “I’m Bob Marley’s son and really don’t need to be in school” behaviour.

One day, I’d given back the exercise books after a Math quiz. Ziggy said he didn’t understand something which he had got wrong. It was soon break time so I told him if he stayed behind, I would explain it to him. His seat was in the back of the class. After all the other kids had run off to eat and play, I went and sat with Ziggy. I can’t remember what the concept it was, but I took my time and explained it as best as I could.

You know they talk about the light bulb going off? It’s real. Once he understood it, and I made sure that he did, he burst into a smile with his slightly buck teeth and I saw the light bulb as he said “thanks”.

When it came to career choices, I never considered going to Mico or any other teacher’s colleges because teaching was just not something you did, unless you couldn’t get into university. Once I got into the hotel industry, my career path took a natural progression to training.

I’d worked closely with Linda on developing the training for a restaurant at the hotel which I had been assigned to manage after a refurb. All those classroom and practical sessions made me feel that that was where I belonged, so after 2 years managing the restaurant, I requested a transfer to be Linda’s assistant. I was happy doing that for a year, when the then GM insisted on moving me to boring HR. Although it was a promotion, I found it mundane and not a good use of my time. So I left, much to his surprise.

After working in operations on the other side of the Caribbean for four years, I decided that I didn’t want to reach age 60 and regret not having specialized in training and development. School in England came next and I’ve been able to concentrate mostly on training since 2003.

My most ideal job though would be teaching Primary School level in the 8 – 11 year old bracket. Imagine then my joy in 2010 when the Minister of Education asked for volunteers from the industry to go into schools and teach Tourism! I didn’t ask my boss IF I could do it. I told him :)

This is my third Grade 4 and it is the highlight of my week. I spend 40 minutes once per week doing anything I choose to, around the subject of Tourism. I had a class today and they are so inquisitive and expressive (and huggy too!). It’s not the same as teaching Math or English, but it’s teaching, and I love it!

As I have blogged before, I get that rock star feeling when the ones who I taught in the previous years mob me and demand hugs. And I have to thank a reggae star….and Mummy….for enabling me to have that feeling.