Do you have a B side?

I didn’t know this but was watching a Rod Stewart video on YouTube and he commented that his most famous song “Maggie May” was actually on the B side of the record that it was released on. That kind of blew me away. The A Side was actually “Reason to Believe” which is a great song on its own.

Another one that surprised me was Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done”. There was a whole collection, for me, of wow here. Lots of new revelations there for me, so be sure.

Photo by Eric Krull on Unsplash

For those curious, those are 45rpm records. They were released with two songs – an A Side and a B Side. The common thought was that the best was on the A Side and the B Side was something else. If you’ve clicked through the link above and know your music, you know that that wisdom wasn’t always true.

It got me thinking of myself. Teaching truly was my B Side.

I had every intention of writing software or working in a programming shop for a living. The introvert in me would have loved that.

So, I enrolled at Waterloo to study Mathematics and Computer Science. I don’t regret that for a minute. It was in a conversation with a professor after I had taught a lesson in class and she wondered if I was interested in a career as a teacher. Now, I’ve always held my own teachers up with a great deal of respect. I never envisioned myself as having the qualities and expertise that would be required to actually be teach. They knew so much and they put up with so much from students and admin. Yes, teacher, students do see everything that you’re going through.

As a result of that conversation, I started to think of the possibilities and looked into what it would take to get into a Faculty of Education. Geeky me had so focused on the Mathematics and Computer Science part that I didn’t have all the requirements needed. So, I went back to university between third and fourth year to pick up on those courses. I’ve always referred to that as my “Artsy Term” where I did a bunch of courses that were offered in buildings that I would normally just pass by. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that I’d put in an application to Toronto and Western to see if either would take me and surprise, surprise, both made an offer.

The rest, as they say, is history. I had teaching qualifications in both the subject areas that I loved and my one and only interview was with a gentleman who absolutely wanted someone with those qualifications and wouldn’t mind moving to Essex County. I did get to write software in class and had a bit of a side gig at times so was able to keep a foot in both worlds.

So, this is a question or a thought that I’d like to throw out. Most of the readers of this blog are teachers and I’m humbled and honoured by the fact that you drop by periodically. Look inwardly a bit – do you have a B Side? Is teaching your B Side? Chances are, you’re very successful however things turned out for you so this isn’t a place for judgements.

I’d love to hear it.

4 thoughts on “Do you have a B side?

  1. I spent about two thirds of my career working in the computer industry and one third of it teaching. So one is probably the A side and the other the B side. I guess that based on time, teaching would be the B side. On the other hand I made a lot more of a name for myself being involved in teaching than writing code.


  2. Pingback: OTR Links 11/16/2021 | doug — off the record

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