Girls Of Manchester: Taylor Waddle

NAME: Taylor Waddle

JOB TITLE: English Teacher 

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When and Why did you make Manchester your home?

This is sort of a long-winded answer so I apologise in advance. I moved to Manchester in August 2018. I’m originally from Louisiana (USA) and I went to university in New Orleans- during my final year, I spent a semester studying in France. This semester abroad gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe (during which time I first visited Manchester). After the term ended, I realised I wasn’t ready to go home yet. So I decided to pursue postgraduate studies in the UK, University of Sheffield to be exact. While studying in Sheffield, I met my fiancé. 

After graduating, I moved back the states for a while, realised what I wanted to do with my life and then moved back to the UK to pursue teacher training and to be with my partner. I’d always liked visiting Manchester and it seemed like a well-connected city with lots going on.  

What makes Manchester special?

It's got the big city bustle that keeps things exciting without being too overwhelming. There’s always something going on for everyone in Manchester. From reggae yoga to music festivals, the events are endless. Having lived in New Orleans and Austin, I wanted an exciting music scene to explore and a plethora of local coffee shops where I could do my writing. I love how I can be walking down a street for the 100th time and suddenly come across a hidden underground bar. Manchester manages to stay current while also keeping its history and old school charm alive. 

What drives you?

It took me quite a while to figure this out, but for the most part what drives me is the ability to improve the lives of others. For me, that starts with education. After working at schools with disadvantaged pupils in the US and the UK, it’s driven me to try and be part of the educational community working to close achievement gaps in schools. 

My passion has always been Creative Writing. I spent some time unsure of where I wanted to go with my career- I tried out marketing but felt it wasn't for me. I started mentoring and tutoring students which I really enjoyed. Being able to walk away from a lesson and think that I've been able to help a child understand a concept or even simply put a smile on his/her face surpassed my other jobs. I know it'll be extremely challenging but I'm looking forward to it!

What are your dreams/ where would you like to be in 5 years?

I would like to still be helping people- whether in a teaching capacity or a different role. I have no idea where I'll be living; it's very likely that I'll still be in Manchester. I would also like to have so many dogs and a house full of succulent plants. As cringey as it sounds, I would like to be happy. It's easy to get caught up in all the negative things in life- I'm particularly bad at this. I hope I focus on what's right in front of me and not worry so much about the future. 

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What is the biggest issue at the moment for women which needs to be talked more about?

A lot has been improving with women's issues lately but there is still a lot that needs to change. With the recent Me Too campaign, it has become obvious how many women (and men) have been affected by sexual harassment and assault. I'm glad awareness has been brought to this issue but there is still more to be done. I think the more we talk about it and the more open we are, the bigger effect we'll have. 

As far as equality, there is still room for improvement here as well. After the US women's football team won the World Cup recently, co-captain Megan Rapinoe has been getting everyone's attention with her calls for equal pay. Again, the more people who bring these issues to light, the better chance we have of fixing them.

What is your favourite Manchester Girl Event and why?

I’m an introvert who has sudden extrovert bursts so most of the meet-ups I’ve been to so far have been on a smaller scale. Through these meet-ups, I’ve gotten to discover new cocktail hours and coffee shops and of course meet some amazing women. I’ve been able to meet up with American and Canadian women with whom I can reminiscence about missing American things like Ranch dressing and Target. 

I’ve met so many unique and driven women through Manchester Girl. It’s so helpful to have an online forum not only for events but also for advice. Once things have calmed down a bit for me, I would love to go to more events, especially the book club! 

Why did you choose the location you were photographed?

The easy answer is that I walk past it every day since it's on the way to the city centre. However, there is more to it than that. I think it's really interesting how close I live to a museum. To me, proximity to museums exemplifies how close to the heart of the city you are. Even when I lived in Paris, I wasn't this close to a museum.

The museum itself is also very unique. I love that instead of being centred around old artefacts, its focus is on the people. It tells stories of how they lived and how they felt throughout various times in history. There are always new events and exhibitions taking place there- just last week, when I walked by there was a group of friendly protesters complete with a camera crew. Though the museum keeps hold of Manchester's history, it also makes sure to keep it up to date.