In keeping with my chronological stories of Kev, we are now up to becoming a teacher.
When I met Kev, he worked for FAI, not long after, he moved to work for an insurance broker. He hated it. He had been promoted rapidly from his first job in the mail room of National Mutual because he is open and friendly and curious about how things work. But Kev is too nice for sales and he hates the stress involved with money. So he hated his job.
He had stayed on this career path because he took the first job he was offered in the late 80’s, during a ‘financial crisis’ and he listened to his dad’s advice about not leaving a secure job in a depressed market. Although I’m sure Noel would not have used those words.
But after the predictive testing, his priorities changed. During many of our ‘deep and meaningful’ discussion after his positive predictive test, Kev mentioned that he had wanted to become a teacher but had not done well enough in the HSC. (I’m sure some stories will surface with the reasons why soon enough).
He was convinced that he was stupid. A hangover from being the youngest of 3 other highly intelligent human beings, who understandably found their 5 year old brother to be incredibly stupid. Kev’s formal education did not engage him in a way to change this opinion of himself. It took a lot of effort on my part to convince him that he was more than smart enough to become a teacher.
So Kevin quit his job and did a mature age student bridging course at the University of Wollongong that led to entry into a Bachelor of Teaching, Primary. I have to say Kevin is not the most academic human being on the planet. He has a high emotional intelligence (much higher than mine) but when it came to the academics of pedagogy he struggled.
I was doing my Graduate Diploma of Education at the same time and he would frustrate me with his innovative ideas and ease at face-to-face teaching. He could break concepts down and teach them in a way that was accessible and easy to understand. However, he could not tell you how he did it or why. His common but frustrating response would be, “its just common sense Jen, everyone just does it that way.”
He would be frustrated by assignments, he simply could not write 2000 words on his rationale for a literacy strategy because in his mind it was ‘just common sense’. He would also be equally frustrated by marking guidelines set by lecturers that had no bearing on how a task would be marked.
Needless to say, I now have a very good understanding of the primary course work that Kev did. Let’s just say that my ability to touch type may have included a heavy editorial role in the creation of most of Kevin’s academic essays. We would spend countless hours, with me typing and asking Kev what he wanted to say. Kev giving me one sentence and me trying to get him to turn that into 2 paragraphs.
Kev was a brilliant teacher. He took his responsibilities as a teacher very seriously (more on this later). He was a leader, even though he never wanted to take on leadership roles. Teacher and students loved him and they all learned, but he struggled with the academic side of educational theory. He is one of the examples of why academic results in the HSC can never be the only way to judge who becomes a pre-service teacher and that University results are not always the best measure of who will become a quality teacher.