|Christmas lights in Taunton - down by the River Tone. 1987|
As anyone who has ever taught knows, things are pretty full on at the beginning of your career. Ideally you are at least 2 steps ahead of the students, but of course it doesn't always work out like that...and that's when you have to learn the essential art of bluffing. Of course after a while you begin to relax into the job and realise that admitting 'Actually, I don't know the answer to that question' can lead to one of the best learning experiences for everyone in the classroom. But it takes time before you are confident enough to go down that road.
So I don't remember thinking much about anything else other than lesson preparation and marking during the Taunton years. Well, I do remember having to have another hip replacement towards the end of my first year of teaching - probably as a result of all that prep and marking. But I was young and (ankylosing spondylitis aside) I was pretty healthy so I was back at work 6 weeks post op.
I really did like Taunton - the people were very friendly and I always thought it would be a lovely place to live when I was about 50. But when you are twenty-five you want action and adventure and so after a couple of years I upped sticks and headed for the bright lights of Brighton. More of that another day.