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Saturday, 27 October 2012

My quick autobiography

Learning has been a constant in my life.  When I look at the family tree on my mother's side, half of my aunts and uncles are teachers, the other half electricians.  While my grasp on electrical work begins and ends with which part of a plug to stick in the wall, teaching has been very natural and was clearly in my DNA.  I just didn't know it until recently.

My career focused on hospitality and accounting since the mid-1990's, when I began working with several large hotel chains.  I completed my Certified Management Accountant designation in 2003 and worked as a financial controller.  I loved the problem-solving aspect of accounting and the team aspect of hospitality. In an interesting paradox I was able to work from one promotion to another, yet was feeling less engaged.

While still working as a financial controller in 2010, I tried teaching a mixed-delivery class about accounting for Royal Roads University.  I realized that using my hard skills in the workplace was a lot less satisfying than using my soft skills and teaching other people.  My challenge was that I lacked a clear strategy on how to successfully make the transition to teaching full time.

At the end of 2011 I decided to begin teaching full-time. After talking with contacts at both Royal Roads University and Camosun College, I was able to organize enough courses to make a full-time job.  My challenge was that I had the job I wanted, but had no idea how to properly do it! Fortunately I took Camosun’s instructor skills workshop before starting, which taught me some life-saving strategies for teaching in the classroom.  While reflecting on the success of that course, I decided to take the entire Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP). One year later I couldn't be happier with the journey I’ve embarked on…

On a side note, I’ve had a wonderful support network with my wife and three children.  While we miss the perks that come with working for a hotel chain, our lives are more complete with the extra support I can now offer at rowing, soccer, cadets, skating, and swimming.

“Uncertainty can be the guiding light” - Bono

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