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By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail

President Benjamin Franklin's infamous fable.

In education, it's important to be well-prepared and remain flexible. Soldiers know this in conflict; coaches and captains realise it at the start of play, sellers at the openings of negotiations: "Every plan changes after the first contact."

For almost 30 years, I have taught in a variety of settings. During the past three years, it has been particularly rewarding. I have interacted with some exceptional students at either end of the grades. There is a great rapport with some, working together towards mutual growth and outstanding results. Others are particularly challenging, disrupting, hindering, and refusing to reason. The stark contrast in behaviour and attitude is mind-boggling; however, I tend, maybe foolishly, never to give up on either. This part of being a teacher, I wouldn't change. I am enduring the hills and hardships for the few breathtaking views: grit and reward. "T" did Ok in his exams, but this speaks to him as a young man, seeing more than most - treasured, not measured.

Over the past month, a few friends have said, "You haven't changed a bit". It's been some time since I've seen them. Reflecting on this, I think they're saying, "Quib's, it's so great to see you. You're JimmyQ, who I've known, loved and appreciated: that's good, and I feel safe, thanks mate" For me, loyalty holds great weight. It means being faithful to oneself and others and, from them, in return. When it's not in balance, I am unhinged.

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