Not getting the job of my dreams was exactly what I needed ..
Several years ago while teaching at a very challenging school .. I decided to run a coding club for some of my students.
Their ICT curriculum was horribly bland, focused on preparing students for working lives in office administration jobs .. Imagine a 5 year sequence of lessons based on Microsoft Office, and you'll feel their pain!
I learned HTML while training as a teacher, and decided to show students how to create webpages - as an introduction to learning more complex coding languages later on.
So on Friday afternoon each week, after everyone else had gone home - 6 ‘geeks’ and I ruled the school ..
I taught them with the books I had used to learn myself, and by sitting with students one-to-one to demonstrate each command.
During the year they all managed to build websites from scratch using HTML and CSS, my own knowledge was sharpened a little, and I learned how to teach this skill to others.
Hitting the Jackpot ..
In the summer of that year, we merged with another local school - and moved to a shiny new building.
Pupil numbers more than doubled, and when I offered the chance for students to join my coding club, over 70 showed an interest.
I quickly realised that a one-to-one teaching style was going to be painfully inadequate to help that number.
For a while I didn't think I could make it work at all.
Until one morning I woke up and realised that the ONLY way I could teach 70+ trainee coders, was if the students were able to teach themselves.
So I learned to create video tutorials, and created a website to house these ..
.. including ‘challenges’ for students to complete after they had watched the tutorial videos.
And a high score table of achievements, with badges which I would ‘light up’ when they had successfully achieved a milestone.
A week later I bought 80 pairs of cheap headphones, launched the club .. and held my breath.
On launch day I showed students how to learn from the website I created - to play, pause and rewind the videos, find the challenges - and what the high score table looked like.
What happened after that was magical.
On Friday after school each week, I would run the busiest ‘lesson’ in the school - with close to 80 students learning complex programming skills.
In my second or third session I remember sitting down in a room buzzing with activity, and realising that I didn’t need to be there at all.
Students invited their friends to compete against them - they helped each other. I had new students arriving to join late, and it didn’t matter - they could start where they needed to.
Others raced through the learning, and became champions on the high score tables ..
At one point a boy I had never seen before walked into the room. I him asked if he wanted me to show him around, and he replied " I don't need that sir, I've been learning at home - I'm up to challenge 5! "
I started thinking .. "what else can I teach this way? "
I recorded video tutorials to teach Microsoft Office skills to use in my lessons - and saw the same results.
Our students, who arrived with ZERO independent skills and very little motivation to sit through teacher demonstrations, were completely different when they had control of the play button themselves.
I Thought I Had Nailed it ..
When the head of my department left, I enthusiastically applied for his job.
The newly appointed associate principle didn’t understand my very different approach - and gave the job to a new guy from a private school instead.
This broke my heart and I resigned, knowing I couldn’t work implementing someone else's vision for a subject I had nailed so completely.
I took a sabbatical .. and for the next few months I sat at home in my attic, learning a range of other eLearning software - Articulate Storyline, Audacity, various video editors - and their application.
Then I saw an opportunity.
A new Computing curriculum was being launched in all UK schools and most teachers had no idea how to teach what they considered an alien language. So I created an Online Course showing teachers how to teach my subject, and emailed all the schools I could find to let them know it was available.
A few weeks later, I had over 2000 people from all over the world registered for the course, and several hundred logging on and taking it at once.
My Head Exploded .. and My Server Crashed!
If this was the response which my very first online course received - with NO advertising and NO 'professional' experience .. just imagine what I could do in the future?
Since that time I have created and sold over £70,000 of my own courses and live events, and positively impacted the lives of thousands of people all over the world.
I have taught everything from online technical training to motivation and meditation - from business and entrepreneurial skills to creative thinking and story telling.
I even helped an internationally recognised University to teach at degree level using eLearning.
I now work part time in a local school .. leaving me time to show other teachers how to start information businesses, selling what they know.
Learning in our Connected World, Blows my Mind!
Never before has it been so easy to publish what you know to a worldwide audience - and connect with the people who need your help.
Never before has it been so easy for learners to access the training they need to develop their skills, and change their lives.
And never before has that knowledge been so valued.
I believe there has never been a better time, to be an educator
I believe that the time we are living in, will be remembered as a golden age for learning .. one that is ranked alongside the invention of writing to pass knowledge down the generations, or when the invention of the printing press made books available to ordinary people all over the world.
And this learning revolution has only just begun.
What could YOU share with the world?
What skills and knowledge do you have which others can benefit from?
With the skills you have as a classroom teacher you are VERY well prepared to create and publish online learning which changes peoples lives. And as an Online Teacher (Infopreneur), you can spread your impact across continents, and free yourself from working long hours in a stressful school environment.
To begin, all you need is to recognise the possibility - I can help you with the rest.
Start right now by downloading 'Classroom Escape' free - and use the book & workbook to create the blueprint of YOUR first Online Course, or Online Live event.
I have designed this training for absolute beginners - you need nothing more than what you have with you, right now.
Doing this has been the best thing I have ever done - I would love to help you do the same.
Thank you for being here - please contact me anytime by clicking here.