Diane is one of my BFFs and I asked her to be involved in this project. Funny and knowledgeable, I feel blessed she’s a part of my life. Read about why she loves what she does…
Why I Love What I Do
It was clear I was always going to be a teacher. I toyed with other career ideas, nursing and other medical paths were high on the list until I discovered I hated hospitals, and when I finally settled into studying languages at university I had visions of diplomatic service or exciting interpreter roles (probably with the CIA). The arts degree morphed into a teaching degree however, and upon reflection, it was the obvious choice. I had my first tutoring job when I was 16, I taught summer school while at university, and if we go waaay back, I can remember playing flashcards with my older brother when I was about 6 – yes, we were nerds.
So a teacher I am through and through. I taught primary school for seven years in Australia, then taught knitting, spinning and crochet here in London when we moved. I wrote articles for magazines including Spin-Off and Knitty.com, and self-published loads of tutorials. (See, I’ll try and teach you even if you’re not in the room).
Summon another career change and yes, I’m still teaching. This time it’s Pilates and it suits me down to the ground. I love watching people build strength and energy, I love seeing them overcome their pain. Plus, I have the great rewards of running my own business and creating a career path exactly as I want it.
I knew as soon as I saw the list of topics here on Rock and Purl that I wanted to talk about what I love, and that it would be teaching. But I’d never really contemplated why I love it so much. In a favourite book of mine, a headmistress asks one of her staff why she loves teaching and the young woman replies that it’s “the quality of the response … you never quite know what you’re going to get, and that’s what makes it so fascinating”. I can relate to this, but it doesn’t nail it for me.
What really gets me excited is the glow that leaps into a student’s face when they realise they can now do something they couldn’t before. Their pride in rewarded effort becomes my pride as well, and I can celebrate achievement every single day.
As I get older I cannot imagine not continuing to learn new things. The excitement of broadening my experience or unravelling questions I haven’t asked yet is definitely part of the future. I want to know Everything, although I realise there probably won’t be time. As a teacher, I get to surround myself with people who are also looking for more, inspired by new ideas, and driven to improve and grow. And that is very very cool.
Diane Mulholland grew up on a small sheep farm near a tiny village in Australia, a long way from anywhere, and has moved to bigger and bigger towns ever since until landing in London in 2006. She worked in the fibre world for several years, teaching, publishing designs and writing for magazines. In 2009 she completed her training as a Pilates instructor and now runs her own studio in South West London.