I've been allowed out the past two days! I have been doing my bit as a 'rep' for the business, touring the schools in the area in an effort to present a friendly, helpful face and, hopefully, drum up some business. We started doing software fairs in primary schools last term, in which we took a selection of educational software and I.T. related goods to schools to sell to the parents. The school then gets 10% commission or 15% if they take it in goods. Doing this helped us build a good relationship with the schools that invited us in and we are trying to extend this.
It's been very interesting visiting the different schools (I'm OK as long as I don't have to teach in them!)and it's amazing how each one is different. They all have their own individual atmosphere and of course the buildings are very different too. Some are new, state of the art, beautifully decorated, others are older, Victorian red brick buildings where creating a child-centred ambiance presents more of a challenge, which is not to say that the staff are not successful at that.
Of course, these days security is paramount, which means that you can't just walk in to a school as you could in days gone by. Now there are bells and keypads and intercoms and signing in books but only twice so far have I been kept on the doorstep. I have even ventured into two Welsh medium schools - and before you ask, that's nothing to do with ghosts or the next life! Welsh schools teach through the Welsh language, as opposed to teaching Welsh as one of the subjects in the curriculum, providing a valuable means of keeping the Welsh language alive and thriving.
The other pleasant part is being able to drive around the area, popping into schools, and, most importantly, popping back out again! I'm getting to see the area and finding my way around and my GPS system comes in very handy - essential equipment, in fact!