A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent. AppsEvents is a Google Certified Partner who are responsible for providing training across Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. I’ve been working towards my Google Educator Certification (Level 1 and 2 completed) and I work in various schools co-ordinating their use of ICT. So this was a great opportunity for me. Although I was little hesitant to take up the opportunity, not because I didn’t want to do it but I worried whether my body would fail me just as I was about to present to the audience. If this is first blog post you have read read from me, I suffer from Epilepsy and an unexplained pain syndrome.)

I guess after the last four years my confidence has been dented somewhat following numerous attacks, periods of not being able to walk and being in and out of hospital. When I was teaching I always used to tell my students that nothing grows in the comfort zone, greatness occurs only when you are challenging and pushing yourself. But I think inadvertently I had placed myself in that very same comfort zone without actually realising it. It’s only when I reflect on how long I took to say ‘yes I’ll do it’ did it hit me. Some people may say that leaving a full-time job is not playing it safe but I guess this just felt different. On a bad day pain can be hidden or meetings rescheduled. But when you are presenting to professionals within an allocated time period, there is no do-over or delay till later.

I’m proud to say I made my debut. I stepped up, tapped in or whatever other wrestling analogy you can think of. I was present. I prepared my session, I sought feedback, I troubleshooted and rehearsed a few times. I wanted the participants to develop their confidence using Google Forms in their classrooms so I made sure I provided them with enough practical tips and opportunities to try a range of assessment techniques. Once the session actually began, my nerves fizzled away. It felt good to be present, communicating about something I love, sharing my knowledge with others. In a small way it reminded me again just how resilient I can be. But only if I choose to say yes.

Sometimes opportunities come knocking when you least expect them and you need take them with both hands. I can’t completely control my conditions but I can make sure I am as prepared as possible.

I am going to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have  been entrusted to take the winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why…I succeed”

N.B What is Google Forms?
Google Forms is a G-Suite application that allows you to create dynamic forms. It’s flexibility in functionality allows you to manage event registrations, whip up quick polls, collect email addresses for a newsletter, create quick step-through tests and much more.The session I lead on focussed on using Google Forms for Assessment and understanding how they can be used to support differentiation.

Related Posts

Tags: Business

This week is the start of my full-time commitment to Happy2Host. I’ve always worked more over the summer holidays so that wasn’t

September 14, 2017
Tags: Business

The new academic year has just kicked off and many of you are about to embark on a new journey

September 11, 2017

This week is the start of my full-time commitment to Happy2Host. I’ve always worked more over the summer holidays so that wasn’t unusual but I guess it was because this was September like no other. I wasn’t getting ready to go back to school. I watched my wife who is a teacher begin her planning and strategising about the new school year. I felt a little lost at not having to do the same or worry about which train I needed to get to make sure I was in on time.

I still woke up at my normal time of around 04:30 AM, this was partly due to the pain in my knee that likes to summon me in the morning and also because I generally am an early riser.  I completed my normal ritual of going down to the kitchen to make my strong black coffee and taking my pain medication. If I don’t take it at this time I will struggle for the rest of the day. The pain has returned with a vengeance over the last few weeks so I need to ride out the wave for a further hour until the cocktail of meds kick in. I return up stairs to my office and start going through my emails and updating my to do list for the day and week ahead.

I had planned to meet friend for a gym session at 10:30 AM but it was a complete and utter nightmare getting out of the house. I got an unexpected pre-gym workout. It was one of those mornings where things just didn’t go to plan. At first I couldn’t find my gym bag, then once I shut the door I realised I’d forgotten my underwear (for after the gym) so I had to run back inside. The second time I left the house I reached the bus-stop and then realised I’d forgotten my jacket so I had to run back home again. I ran back to the bus-stop only to see the bus fly past me. I was late and anyone that knows what I’m like knows how much I hate being late for anything.

I finally got to the gym and had a very productive session with Jo (a good friend who has also recently left the teaching game). We caught up over lunch and spoke about our goals and fears over the next year. It was a little emotional thinking about what everyone else would be doing and recognising we were not a part of the scene anymore. Sad I know!

I had late a meeting with an old friend who had a very interesting business idea that he wanted advice on, it was pleasure catching up with him but also felt good to know my opinion meant a lot to him. 

The rest of the week consisted of some very interesting meetings with various people including my accountant. I always get told off about my book keeping, I must keep on top of that now as I can’t use the excuse of having lessons to plan. 

I filmed my first Instagram video and I tell you what, it was hard work. I have no issues talking to a large crowd as you get to see instantly their reaction but talking down a camera lens I felt the pressure!  I eventually got it done after 10 retakes and a lot of explicits, might post the outtakes one day. 

Pain update

The pain last week was intense. Particularly in my left knee, it felt like someone had a hammer & chisel and was going to work at my knees. I was so tempted to take morphine but it ruins my day and the next one too. I have been doing so well with out it so decided against it. I was suffering but  I was still productive and managed to get some tasks down. Towards the end of week I started to feel run down and the energy I had at the beginning of the week was near empty. Friday was hard I was in serve amounts of pain, tired and my brain was working slow and I was forgetting words!! That’s one the most frustrating things! I did some work and decided to call it a day.

Overall I was happy with my first week, next week I think I need to get into more of some pattern of work. 

Related Posts

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent.

April 9, 2018
Tags: Business

The new academic year has just kicked off and many of you are about to embark on a new journey

September 11, 2017

The new academic year has just kicked off and many of you are about to embark on a new journey or continue on your educational journey that will somehow improve the rest of your life.

Now let’s take a moment to consider two important questions you need to ask whilst you are on this journey; ‘How do you know if you are doing well?’ and ‘Are you where you want to be?‘.  Over the years, I have learned the best way to do this is by setting goals, without goals we are on an endless road with no sense of direction or purpose. Goals are a call to action.

You can’t just set a random goal, these goals have to be paramount and contribute to something BIG! As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog I use the SMART goal setting technique which stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-Bound. Let’s consider these characteristics in a bit more depth.

Specific – Whatever goal you set should be part of the bigger picture. The much smaller goals have to be clear and well-defined, if not you will find yourself weaving in and out of tasks, not knowing exactly where to go. When you set your goals you have to review them and question whether they address exactly what you want to and whether they do actually help you in achieving your overall goal. If the answer is no then you need to re-think that goal until the answer to those question is YES.

Measurable – Is this goal measurable? Are you able to clearly see the impact or difference on completing the goal. Attach something tangible to the goal, so that you can assess your success over time. Working towards a percentage change or target grades can be one way of doing this. Monitoring your success in this way allows you to re-focus your efforts and energy if your first strategy doesn’t work. It provides you with the reason to switch up your game or approach. You will be forced to think about what’s going wrong or what you could do better to make sure that you meet your overall aim.

Attainable – Can this goal actually be reached? There is no point setting impossible goals for yourself. From my own experience, it only frustrates me and makes me doubt my own ability to work toward something that is not achievable. The trick is to set a goal which can be reached but will also push you to heights you have never been before. Slightly outside of your comfort zone but still rooted in reality. Once you’ve reached it you will feel that sense of accomplishment, a sense of dominance, a feeling like no other!

Relevant –Make sure your goal relates to your overall aim, if not then you’re simply wasting your time and in this world time waits for no one.

Time-Bound ­– Like I just said time waits for no man or woman. You must make sure you include a sufficient amount of time to reach your target. Your targets can be short or long term but you need to stick to the time frame you have set. Goals to complete by the end of the week, month, term, a year or next year will help you to hold yourself to account. The more targets you can smash through in a year, the closer you get towards achieving your overall goal!

An example of a SMART target

During my recovery from my severe epileptic attack three years ago, I set the goal of walking without aids. I wanted to exercise at least three times a week for 15 minutes over a period of three months. At the end of each month, I would note down progress in terms of the pain I felt, the strength in my knees and my balance. At the end of the three months, I was able to meet that goal. It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of time, effort and strength to not give up but I was determined I would recover.

I’m a guy who loves to smash targets; fitness targets, financial targets and business targets. This is my way of measuring my progress and bettering myself. Setting and acting on your goals will do nothing but benefit you! Get Goal Setting!

Related Posts

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent.

April 9, 2018
Tags: Business

This week is the start of my full-time commitment to Happy2Host. I’ve always worked more over the summer holidays so that wasn’t

September 14, 2017

I have finally decided to the make jump! Don’t worry guys I don’t mean off a tall building or cliff. I am leaving teaching primarily to focus to on my web design and hosting business but I also have a few other exciting projects in the pipeline (more about them in future posts).

I have really enjoyed my 10 years in teaching and working in St Michael’s College. I have learnt so much, made some really good friends and taught some students that I have no doubt that will go on to be world leaders.

I feel it is the right time to leave teaching, I have given the profession everything and I now need to put my health first and channel my energy into running a successful business.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t do this, I’ve always told my students to go after their dreams so I need to commit and do the same.

I won’t be completely be leaving the education sector as I still have a passion for working with young people. Some of the projects I’ll be working on will be to support disadvantaged students.

There is an element of fear in leaving a full-time job but I don’t want to have any regrets in life, life is too short and precious for that. I have to go after what I want and make sure I leave no stone unturned. I am going into this venture with the mindset that failure is not an option.

I’m ready for the jump,

Follow my journey over the next few years!

 

Related Posts

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent.

April 9, 2018
Tags: Business

This week is the start of my full-time commitment to Happy2Host. I’ve always worked more over the summer holidays so that wasn’t

September 14, 2017