Find what you love and never let it go

Growing up, David Buxton always aspired to be a doctor but his head and his heart were pulling him in two different directions. David speaks to Emma Brown...

David is now a Science Teacher at a private school in London and loves every aspect of his role and extra responsibilities he has taken on. He has attended every School for Changemakers residential weekends since he first started attending in 2013 due to the valuable in-depth discussions during the sessions.

He claims his most life-changing and standout moment was hearing the powerful stories of other attendees, their deep emotional motivations and experiences in areas of their lives they had made a change, as well as what had caused that change. He said:

“There were so many tears in that session. The expectations we set at the start were vital in helping us open up and it was a cathartic release. When I shared the motivations which spurred me to follow education, I had never really thought about those motivations before or processed the emotions around them. That, for me, was when I realised why I wanted to become a teacher, because I believe that education can make a massive change to the quality of your life.”

David graduating from University before he embarked on his teacher training

David graduating from University before he embarked on his teacher training

David faced many barriers in his childhood. He grew up in a single parent household, moving between council houses in deprived inner-city gang-affiliated areas. His mother was unemployed for lots of the time and lots of his family members had been to prison, including his brother in later years.

“The biggest barrier I faced was not going down a similar line. Seeing this made me want to stick to a path of education, and disassociate with any criminality.”

The School for Changemakers has taken David on a journey of understanding his motivations. During this time, he has set goals and aspirations for his future which allow him to achieve happiness in a way that allows him to have small wins every day.


David celebrates becoming a qualified teacher

David celebrates becoming a qualified teacher

“My goals now may seem quite small. They are to have a happy family, continue to develop in my career and to volunteer. When I was younger I had more ambitious goals, career wise, such as to be a doctor or start my own charity working in disadvantages communities. I now realise that I have a lot of settling and development to do first.”

David’s aspirations have developed over the years to become a bit closer to home and more focused on the relationships around him. His message to everyone looking to instigate change is that no goal is too small or insignificant. “It’s a great achievement to be the person that smiles and says hello to people in the street every day, to be the neighbour that helps signpost, or volunteers their time to help someone. I would like my pupils and my children to have a sense of respect and value for people and the environment.”

David during a recent School for Changemakers with other attendees

David during a recent School for Changemakers with other attendees

His final words of wisdom in our interview were as follows:

“Find what you love, what makes you happy, what cheers you up, find out what motivates you, what excites you, who excites you, what you’re good at, breathe deeply and slowly when you’re nervous, raise your chest and head when unconfident. If you are wanting to make change, don’t tell someone how – show them.”

He also left us with the following poem which was read to him at one of the changemakers residentials. He has never forgotten it…

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

Listen to David’s podcast interview here.

For more information on how to get involved with the School for Changemakers Programme click here.

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