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Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

I took a trip to the Guardian this week. It was actually a bit of a day out for me and my fellow trainee teachers to that there London, and I enjoyed it immensely. It was all part of supporting us in a project we are doing with two schools whereby we set up a newspaper simulation day for the children to get a glimpse at what it’s like to be journalists for the day. They have to arrange interviews, come up with story ideas and on the day will have to write copy, take photographs and create a print and online version of their paper.

Given my background, i.e., my degree in journalism and 12 years in the industry, I was faced with the obvious questions from my peers about my previous life. Where better to ask a so-called failed journalist if they regret not making it than in the hub of one of the most respected newspaper in the UK?

So it got me thinking, and on the train home I asked myself, and I asked for an honest answer of myself: am I ashamed of or regretful about my failed aspirations as journalist? And the truth is no, I’m not. When I set out to be a journalist I had the goal of a 15-year-old in mind. I wanted to use language to spread and share knowledge and being a news hound was the best way I could think of at the time. It all seemed so logical. So off I went down that path. But I can trace my ‘failed aspirations’ to a single moment in class. A time when we covered what is known as the ‘Death Knock’. And I knew from that moment on I wasn’t cut from the right cloth to be a journalist, in spite of pleas from my tutors to ‘toe the line for a couple of years’. I didn’t have what it takes to knock on the doors of people who had just tragically lost relatives and loved ones all in the name of ‘getting the story’. I’m not built to impose on people’s grief like that, and I never will be.

So it begs the question why did I continue with my degree? Well, I’ve never been one for quitting anything for a start. And for another thing I began to choose options which would send me down a different path, one of online and specialist journalism which eventually did lead to me having a few interesting and exciting jobs in the media.

Do I regret never becoming the Guardian journalist I always dreamed I would? Still the honest answer is no. I was passionately chasing a dream, but it was the wrong dream. The essence of what I wanted to do as a journalist (and why I chose it as my degree) was that I wanted to impart knowledge, share experiences and ideas, do something important for mankind, and what better way to do that than the way I am now doing as an English teacher? I can’t think of one. And that degree and brief journalistic career helped get me to this point. As my dear old Mum always says, ‘nothing is ever wasted’, my background has become the mainstay of my vision of what kind of teacher I want to be, how I want to share knowledge and encourage fresh and independent thinking.

Now I dream about fuelling inquisitive minds, and helping young people on their path towards their own dreams. And that is now the single most important thing that has ever happened to me.

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