Sometimes it’s hard to go back. I’m not good at revisiting the past. It always turns out to be one of those ‘lump in the throat’ experiences, but this week I had no choice. This was work. My old school, St Barnabas Primary, had invited me to talk at a school assembly about my Children’s Book of Richard III and sell books afterwards so, of course, I agreed.
A bit of background – I was teaching at St Barnabas for many years but I thought I wanted to progress up the ranks, become a Head one day. I started to study for an MA and I applied for promotion in a different school. The bad news was that I got the job. The even worse news was that promotion meant a lot more work, a lot more responsibility and a job that, in retrospect, was not possible for one person to do and keep their sanity. I kind of, temporarily, lost mine. I left the new job within months on the sick and never returned to full time teaching again.
So, as I said, this week I went back to St Barnabas for the first time in over 20 years and I remembered how warm and friendly it had been and still is and it hit me, with an almost physical slap, what a mistake I’d made leaving that school.
The experience reminded me of a favourite poem. I know I’ve mentioned it on my blog before but it bears a second mention. It is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
Do you ever regret decisions made?