My name is John Massey. I am a primary teacher and have been for nearly 20 years. Over the last 9 years, I have been running my own business. www.playgroundplaytimes.co.uk. So I consult primary schools on how to organise their playground. I also teach playground games, including skipping, French skipping and multicultural games.
So why India?
Well, this is all my wife’s idea. We could call this her mid- life crisis. Michelle has been teaching for over 25 years, and in fact, that’s how we met some 18 years ago. We are happily married and have been for 15 years. We have two children Andrew 12 and Theo 9.
So after both of us teaching in many countries abroad and if fact, in the same schools on three occasions, Michelle had the chance for her first Headship, so this is why we’re here in Mumbai, in India.
It was no secret that I was not keen on the idea, moving countries packing up home, re-homing pets, storing cars is not something that can be done quickly. The last time we moved abroad to teach 5 years ago turned out to be a disaster and we were back in the UK after 6 months. So I was thinking “not again, please”.
I had said to Michelle it was not practical to give up the lifestyle we had in the UK and move to one of the most over populated cities /countries in the world. I was really not happy that she had even taken the interview for the job. Anyway, she did the interview and she got the job. This was now a big problem.
We don’t have many family meetings but this was one. All sitting around the table in rural Framlingham, Suffolk, UK. We took a vote: I lost- 3 wanting to go, and me wanting to stay. Followed by the children saying “what do we have to lose dad?”.
So it looked like I was going to Mumbai.
I had decided to take the opportunity of teaching in yet another continent, Asia. Thinking this could give me a chance at looking at more playgrounds abroad, seeing how different children play has always fascinated me. This could also help extend my knowledge and help Playground Playtimes.
I was offered a job in Michelle’s school teaching, but I decided I did not want the full time commitment. I had planned to return to UK in three, three week spells and continue serving all the schools I have been visiting over the last 9 years.
So during the day I planned to do some voluntary teaching in the poorer areas in Mumbai.
So why the blog and for what reason?
Answer: no real reason. I have looked at other people’s blogs and their experiences whilst travelling and visiting other countries. From looking at those, I know what I don’t want to do.
I have no intention of belittling anyone I meet. I have no intention of mentioning anyone or anything other than the way I see it. I do not want to make it political or religious in any way.
I have now been here 3 weeks and I have kept a detailed written hand diary, which I will use to start writing the blog.
I just intend to write what I see with the odd photograph attached to my comments, to tell you my experience of living as a white Englishman in Mumbai.
If people do follow what I have written, please make all comments of a positive nature. I am not good at receiving any criticism.
Please note my grammar, punctuation and spelling are not good. Ironically, I am now teaching English.
Who knows, you might even laugh.
Thanks to Richard Smith, who has made me see the need to move on into the world of technology and encouraging me to create this blog.