My day tends to start very early, particularly if I’m working at Oxford Computer Group’s Oxfordshire office which is 37 miles and a two-hour cycle ride away! As with training, good preparation is all.
My day doesn’t always begin in my own bed as I spend a lot of time teaching and consulting, away from home. Over the last year alone I have taught in the North of England, the West coast of the US, the Middle East, and all over Europe.
I enjoy the variety my work brings. Sometimes, after a couple of weeks of intense teaching I’ll be pining for a desk I can call my own. But after a couple of weeks of meetings, I’m pining for the classroom again. There’s something about imparting knowledge and helping people to understand the things they need to know that, although exhausting, feels good.
If I’m not teaching or consulting, I’ll be preparing new courses, writing modules and testing labs. It’s great to be working at the cutting edge.
At OCG we are already teaching technologies from Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS+). After attending high level ‘train the trainer’ courses at Microsoft in Redmond, and getting to grips with all the new technology, we then had to translate that knowledge into effective training courses. Lots of customers are looking for EM+S solutions and courses right now, so I’m feeling very sought after.
Teaching from anywhere, Learning from anywhere
I’ve been teaching ILM, FIM and now MIM for many years and times are changing. Face-to-face courses in the classroom are still very popular, but more and more students want to join our live courses remotely, in real time over the internet. And increasing we’re running remote-only courses. The times they are a-changin’.
For example, this week, I’m teaching a remote-only MIM course on Pacific time… but I’m teaching it from our UK office in Oxfordshire! I won’t be home from work until 3am tonight! Teaching students remotely is very different from teaching face-to-face. I’m used to people not laughing at my jokes but, if they’re in the same room, at least I can see them roll their eyes!
Also, because there are fewer interruptions from students when I’m training through a web connection, I sometimes worry that they may not be there, or have fallen asleep. But, this also means I push students to interact more, which is crucial to their understanding of the content. And, although I was a little apprehensive at first, I’m very much enjoying the new challenge – especially as feedback from students has been very positive.
When I am able to get back home for the evening, I spend as much time as I can with my teenage children, perhaps taking my daughter to her acting, singing and music lessons, or doing football things with my son. Sometimes he’s watching with me, other times he’s playing. Their older sister is at university in London and my wife and I love to visit. I occasionally cycle the 65 miles to her apartment, but so far I have only ever made that journey on my own.