Of all the things I didn’t think I would ever do, teaching would have been top of the list. That was then, but now that I’ve taught thousands of students, I’ve got to say it’s the most enjoyable and rewarding job in the world. Watching nervous students arrive in the morning then as soon as they all relax, the smiling starts, then the laughing, and almost always they arrive as strangers and leave as friends. Just love it. Here’s a snapshot as to why it wasn’t such a smooth start on this journey…
During my years at primary school then on to high school, I spent a lot of time in ‘special class’ as it was called back then due to my dyslexia! In a nut shell, if you had learning difficulties, were disruptive or simply couldn’t be bothered you we’re moved to the special class for part of the day. It was one big nightmare for me as I remember feeling so dumb when asked to leave normal class to go to the special class. Half the time would be spent watching the teacher try and control the disruptive who were interested in throwing paper planes or fighting rather than what the teacher had to say. A few of us who wanted to learn were just sat around wasting time (when I think back now, how frustrating). I hope for kids nowadays that things have improved and the categorisation is more civilised and fair. I remember moving to high school and dreading the special class. Guess what, it was just the same, week after week with the same kids having the same fights…! We lived on the outskirts of town and some of the kids went to the school nearby and some of us had to attend a school miles away by bus! We wore a school uniform and used to get bullied coming off the bus at home time by the other kids! When we moved to high school both schools came together. I remember the bullying kids in shock when one day they saw me come out of the special class…! Just because I wore a school uniform and spoke more politely than they did, they’d assumed I was one of the clever ones. This was a strong lesson which I keep with me which is to never judge a book by it’s cover. The other thing that I took from my school days was that I knew from an early age that I wanted to decorate cakes so I’m sure you can imagine how that went down with the bullies and others in my special class! But, I stuck to my guns and sooooo happy I did. As you can tell I couldn’t wait for my school days to end.
Fast forward to college where life changed and all of a sudden education became real and enjoyable…! Realising I was dyslexic made me all the more determined not to be in the special class for the rest of my life…! Fast forward again – 2 years full time at college, 5 years working in a bakery, 10 years running a cake shop and cafe, and 5 years running PBSS up to 2016 – and I now find my self teaching! Of all the jobs in the world who would have thought it… me, the teacher!
For the last 5 years I’ve been teaching all over the world and met some really amazing students and hosts. Every week I film an online tutorial on how to make a cake but you really can’t beat a real life class with students from all over, coming together to make cake! Over the years I’ve had some crazy ass classes. From students standing on tables head rocking to the music on the radio to one lady on a 5 day class decide to clean my oven because she didn’t like making sugar flowers! When I eventually found said student after looking all around the house, I find her on her knees with her head in the oven… you can imagine my panic, thinking the class is that bad shes got her head in the oven! lol! After a class (which may be a 1, 2 or 5 day class) there’s nothing better than seeing all the big smiles as students and now friends go home to show off their latest cake to their loved ones and of course on Facebook!
Another nice part of teaching cakes is watch new friendships begin with fellow students. Sometimes the whole class become friends and come back together for private group classes which can be a little crazy when the fizz comes out… lol!
In the next 12 months I will be teaching in Preston, Bath, Jersey, India, Dubai and Australia! If you have the time, please come join me for a few days! A great opportunity to meet some like minded people and a crazy Scotsman have some fun while learning some new tricks of the trade. Who knows you might even make a new friend or two!