The disappointment I experienced just now, realising my post had failed to upload and had not saved, seems rather appropriate for this evening’s topic. 

Like many grads, I experienced my first rejection for a grad scheme. In particular, Teach First. Yet, surprisingly, I’m not disappointed. Nor, frankly, am I surprised. 

The lack of effort that went into my preparation was symptomatic of a recent change in my career aspirations. For the longest time I’ve thought about being a teacher. About influencing and shaping young minds. Indeed, nievely, I took this career path for granted. 

But recent changes in education have dampened by aspirations of being a teacher. Once a prime mechanism for social mobility, the education system seems, more than ever, to be a postcode lottery. Rather than enriching lives, it’s all about targets, stats, league tables of funding. No longer does the system care about the individual, so long as averages continue to rise. By focusing on a single sliding scale of ability, we definitively proscribe worth. Yet, as the infamous mantra goes, you wouldn’t judge a fish, a monkey, and (I forget the third) on their ability to climb a tree. 

I’ve never wanted to work in an industry where profit was the primary motive. As I see it, education has become an industry of investment and return. The divestment in the arts since the recession is a clear example of this. 

But I shall cut this stream of consciousness short, if only to say that rejection isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has helped me reassess my motivation. 

I don’t believe in fate, only that from every event, there is something to be learnt. 


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