We do not know anyone's story until we spend time listening to their story. I am first and foremost a family man who wants the best not only for his own family but all families and young people.
"They just don't get it".
A phrase that many parents use when people struggle to understand their child and their child's behaviours and individuality.
By the time I was 15, I was disillusioned by school and I was looking to get away from it at the first opportunity I could. Luckily for me an opportunity came along in the guise of an apprenticeship as a baker. So I left high school with no qualifications and the feeling that school had served no purpose in my young life. I had not been listened to, I had been called lazy and a trouble maker. I had not been diagnosed with anything other than "he should try harder". Little did they know how hard I had been trying for years. No one tried to connect with me to find my barriers to learning, to find my issues with formal education.
I now have had over twenty years of success in the classroom where I managed to deliver positive experiences for the young people. I found I could tap into a young person's motivation where perhaps they had previously found school a challenge they now enjoyed coming to school. However, many people I met did not seem to recognise the value and motivational power of a young person's happiness. All too often I found unmotivated, unhappy young people still being described as disruptive, badly behaved, lazy...a similar story to the words I remembered from my own school life. I decided to try and make a difference in a wider arena and applied for promoted posts within education. I was successful and became a principal teacher where I enjoyed having a wider role in the school and found I could now not only support and help young people in my own class, but throughout the school and the wider community. I gained much experience from this role and decided to widen even further. I was successful in my application to become a Primary School head teacher and enjoyed working in a more strategic position within the local authority.
Fifteen years later and I decided that I would go back into formal education in order to get into university to study for a Bachelor of Education degree!
So what had led to this transformation from apparent lazy trouble maker to university honours graduate? Through engaging with children and young people in a variety of situations such as volunteering in community groups, working in after school clubs and more informally being around younger family members, I found I could empathise, understand and support young people. I still remembered what it was like being the twelve year old who was never listened to. I decided I wanted to help them not only learn but actually enjoy going to school, something I had never been able to do. I became a primary school teacher to help young people get a better start than I did.
Commited to making a positive difference
So the The Learning Space was born - a bespoke, flexible learning experience for young people.
I set up The Learning Space in 2015 in order to continue my path toward ensuring all young people, no matter what or how they learn and develop, are given a positive experience, are listened to and are respected.
The ultimate goal of The Learning Space is to empower young people so that they feel successful, confident and more in control of their lives. I am commited to delivering positive experiences for all the young people I support.
Please feel free to email or call me so we can discuss how The Learning Space can support, nurture and motivate you and your family. Let us work together because I do get it.
Commited to making a positive difference
Throughout this time I got married and had a family of my own. I have a daughter and a son both of school age. My son has a diagnosis of ASD, ADHD, and he suffers from severe anxiety disorder. We have supported him throughout his childhood and work in partnership with education and mental health professionals who continue to support him. And although this has been an incredibly difficult struggle for both us as a family, and more importantly for my son, it is also amazing and life enhancing. Both my children are unique and special and I have grown in my belief that there is no such thing as the norm, we are all different and deserve to have those differences celebrated and understood. Not just understood but accepted, in fact accepted as the norm. The norm is, in fact, that we are all different.