Yesterday was my last day at the place that had become home away from home everyday for the past year. From weekdays to the often dreaded weekends, this place gave me everything I needed to grow and develop as both a person and a professional.
Deciding to leave this place was truly one of the hardest things I’ve done in 2016 because of just how tight knit the community within is. I mean, of course, you have your typical workplace villains who live to create unfortunate and uncomfortable circumstances and politics that literally nobody cares about, but you also have the wonderful and amazing people who don’t make it feel like a job, more a life. They create an amazing environment for you to work and contribute in through their constant warmth, positivity, and genuine passion to give back to the world. You can really see it in them, the little bit of ‘I-want-to-save-the-world’, that little bit that inspires even you to throw away your pride and prejudices to embrace the Swiss lovin’ style and change the world, one kid at a time.
Having joined the team at Swiss at a mere age of 19 (not that I’m much older now but if you understand the workplace dynamic, you’ll know that I was the baby there), I could think of only one thing that kept me going:
Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.
Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut, knew both then and now exactly what I’m feeling about Swiss. If you remember my post ‘New Beginning‘ (if not, you can read it now, there’s a link there), you’ll know that I struggled, and I mean really struggled, to get my life on track. I tried my hand at many things and failed/left. Until I received this opportunity.
Though I always knew I loved children and they were about the only things on earth that can bring out the best in me, the views I heard from many members of my extended family threw me. Many of them held the view that I was too grand a cynic and pure asshole (it’s true, I am all of these things, but only towards those who bring out the worst in me so I guess that’s saying something) to be able to teach children, let alone those with special needs, and for a weak few moments (that unfortunately lasted too long) I actually believed them. Until I ended up here. The apprenticeship opportunity came up by chance and I figured I had nothing to lose since I was basically being a bum at home.
Fast forward about two months from the interview date and I figured that I loved this job so much. This is where I needed to be and this is how I needed to grow. And I did. During my time, I worked specifically with two teachers who have honestly changed the game for me and have catapulted me towards teaching SEND with their awesomeness and just general greatness at being both a carer and teacher simultaneously.
This school has seriously changed the game for me and instilled a fire in me that can’t be dimmed. It was taught me my worth and where I have the capacity to be and all the things I need to do to get there. While I know I will be returning here someday, for now, it is goodbye.