In an alternative existence I am born into a Britain that has cast off the burdens of a stratified class system that harks back to an imperial past now mercifully forgotten.
The post-war has seen massive change in education. Gone are the days of public schools and grammar schools that existed to divide and leave so many languishing as the failures, the uneducated, often the illiterate.
Primary schools are run along Montessori-like lines. Children are free to explore, to create, to learn. The dreaded 11+ test has disappeared forever.
I enjoy my early education, I learn to cooperate, to socialise, to create and I follow my passions.
My secondary school is not divided by year groups. There are no rigid boundaries according to subjects. I created a portfolio of my achievements, a record of my learning which I could talk about when I applied to University.
I knew that my learning was for life and that my University days were just part of a lifelong journey to discover, to interact, to try and understand.
I chose to become a teacher as I desired to be a mentor, a guide to others in an ever-changing world.
At 60 years of age I have just retired from an exciting career where I have felt fulfilled in helping others to achieve their potential, to chase their dreams. I enjoyed my career and never felt under pressure. My students were the judges of my ability to mentor, to be a great coach.
I am now enjoying the chance to continue my quest to learn.
All of the above is but a dream of course. My reality and the reality of my fellow-countrymen has been very different. There have been class divisions, there have been tests and exams in single subjects that I have mostly forgotten. The only part of the dream that is real is the last part. I am a lifelong learner, I am participating in online studies, I am keeping myself busy and trying to understand ideas that are of interest to me. I am enjoying the chance to promote creativity in whichever way I can. Last but not least I am having the chance to do what I loved at school, to write. This blog has been a joy, a passion and a chance to connect. School didn’t give me this chance….. Sir Tim Berners-Lee did.