Blog theme 1: Your journey
Who are you?
I don't fit the conventional mode of a middle aged British Asian; at least, I don't think so. But, I guess, second generation immigrants carve their own path.
I live in North Devon, a beautiful green and blue land, where I have lived for most of the past 12 years since I moved away from London. My family and I surf, quay jump, and wholeheartedly commit to life by the sea. It's such a world away from where my parents still live in West London- ethnically diverse, culturally rich and land locked.
I bucked the trends of my family all my life, doing better than my brothers at school and following my father's path to university, resolutely applying to a non-Asian degree (History- "what about Business Studies?" said my dad?), standing firm in my decision not to get an arranged marriage and becoming a teacher in the halycon days of 1997, when everything seemed possible; even an Asian girl becoming a History teacher.
Where are you now?
My career has encompassed supply teacher, Head of History, GTA Coordinator, Literacy Coordinator, Head of Year 12/13 and my current position, Head of EPQ. I have taught History, RS, PSHE, IT and even Yr 7 Maths one year! I have taught in the state and independent sector, at home and abroad.
Where did you come from?
I grew up in the shadow of the Heathrow flight path, attending a local comprehensive called Lampton School, an ethnically diverse school that gave me the courage to carve my own path. Home was chaotic, but it was a great school, developing me as a whole child, with sport, visits to the theatre and concerts, and inspirational teachers. I was super proud to become Head Girl in my final year. I look forward to going back to see if my name is carved on those wooden plaques that hung in the school hall.
Now, it is an outstanding school, until only recently led by my former History teacher, Mrs Sue Johns. I can see how her calm authority and belief in individuals could transform the place.
How did you overcome any obstacles/barriers?
Initially, I only wanted to be a HOD; now, I aspire to headship. So far, my attempts to move into senior leadership have been a rich, learning experience; I overcome my frustrations and remain optimistic. Each time I am knocked back, I see it as a positive, allowing me to spend time with my children.
I know it will happen, in time, and when I find the right school. In the meantime, I enjoy life and follow the @womened & #bameed mantra to inspire and encourage others to become leaders. By being positive and not blaming, I shine brighter.
What advice/messages do you have for others in the same position?
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” - Paulo Coelho
Have courage and faith; strength comes from adversity.