I spent most of last week working in Dudley College, presenting to students as part of the college’s finance week. I talked about the importance of good money, and debt, management in these hard times. I spoke to students with a wide range of skills and capabilities. I briefly glimpsed the world of the college mentors. The week blew apart many of the misconceptions us in the private sector have of the public sector – particularly the one that working in education was a ‘soft option’, that they have it easy compared to the rest of us.
What I witnessed first hand were committed, well trained, people doing their very best to support students to achieve their life goals. What I saw was staff being squeezed from all sides, professionally and personally. What I saw were staff who continually challenged students to be more aware of the world around them, to have open minds, to think for themselves, doing their best to prepare them for the world outside.
How do I feel this morning? Tired, very tired indeed – engaging with students on such an intense level is draining, it’s far more stressful than my normal day.
But was it worth the time commitment, all the effort preparing?
You bet, every second of it, because today I not only feel good about myself for having put something back, I also have more hope for the future. I just hope the students got out of it just one tenth of what I did.
I wish everyone at Dudley College, students and staff alike, the very best. You’re doing a great job. I’d love to come back next time you have a finance themed week.