Joan’s Journey from sorting feet to expanding young minds

Joan Dickson admits that she was naïve when she discussed her future with her career advisor before she left school.

‘I thought it didn’t matter because I was going to be like my Mum, marry and bring up lots of kids,’ says Joan during her interview on the podcast Sue and Johnny – Everything and Anything.

Moreover, she reveals that she trained to be a chiropodist because it was the first in alphabetical order on the list she was given of medical professionals.

‘If I bothered to look down the list,’ she laughs, ‘I might have been a dietician!’

She worked for several years as a Chiropodist. Still, after her three daughters were born, she decided that she wanted a change, and spent a year studying at Moray House, part of Edinburgh University, gaining her Teachers’ Certificate.

‘From the moment I went into a small school in Stow, in the Scottish borders, in my first teaching practice, I loved it,’ says Joan.

She talks of her satisfaction when her pupils make incremental improvements in reading, drawing and writing. Even children that learn to dress themselves in a timely way for PE is something to celebrate.

In the first part of our chat on the podcast, Joan discusses her favourite books, from picture books to stories like Dear Greenpeace by writer and illustrator Simon James. She enjoys reading to her class because some of the children, unfortunately, will not experience that at home.

In the concluding part of our chat, aired next week, Joan explains why she decided to develop her skills and become a teacher for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and learning to sign. In addition, she discusses her love of listening and playing music and the types of books she reads in her leisure.

I think the children Mrs Dickson has taught will be thankful that she ditched treating people’s feet and concentrated on nurturing the minds of her pupils.