What do you do again?

I get asked this question pretty frequently. I think my husband has finally grasped what I do. My father has no idea. Most of my friends assume that I teach children how to pond dip. Fair enough, my job is pretty niche. I created the job to fit me so it is bound to be a bit special 🙂
I am a freelance which means that I could undertake a huge variety of tasks, dependent on what people ask me to do. Over the last 12 months I have written a book to help Primary teachers teach about the coast, I have created an Eco-Trail for a local eco-charity, I have created a website to support a European Project looking at environmental education and I have coordinated the CPD programme that a local authority offers its schools. But in the main I facilitate CPD training for teachers on the themes of outdoor learning, sustainability and primary geography. What does that mean in reality?
I get an email saying: “Mrs X from X primary school said you do outdoor learning training, can you come and work with my teachers on X date?”. I then liaise with the school to ascertain exactly what their requirements are and I suggest a programme of activity to them. I go on to prepare all of the resources for that training day, sort childcare out to ensure I can be away for a long day and possibly an overnight, arrange somewhere to stay and then turn up in the right place at the right time full of enthusiasm and armed with cake and waterproofs.
The training day often begins the night before when I scrabble around by torchlight in my storage shed to gather all of the equipment I need ahead of loading my car. Friends are familiar with my sand and leaf strewn car and it’s assortment of pond nets, egg boxes and book laden boxes.
I get on the road early to ensure I am at the venue 1 to 2 hours before the course is due to start. Turning up to a venue you have never used before is a gamble; mostly IT related. I unload, set up the room, sort out the equipment we need for various activities and cajole my laptop to talk to their projector.
I then have the pleasure of meeting a new group of teachers and leading them through a day of learning. Sometimes it is focussed upon how to teach the literacy curriculum outdoors, sometimes numeracy. Other times it is about how to make an engaging primary geography curriculum or how to embed ‘Eco-Schools’. One thing these courses always have in common is that I always give myself too much to do and am therefore dashing around all day. We do however always end with a thorough plenary and reflection so that’s a nice way to wind down ahead of saying cheerio to delegates.
It’s then time for a snack and a massive gulp of water ahead of clearing the messy training room, loading the car and listening to the evening edition of the ‘Archers’ and ‘Front Row’ as I drive home to try and give Primrose a cuddle before I pop her in bed.
Finally, I ignore the car laden with festering ecological equipment and have a glass of wine instead. All in a day’s work 🙂