Change cc Flickr photos – Sebastien Wiertz
This time last year I was struggling with the belief that not everyone shared the basic premise that all kids can learn (see Clear to Me Opaque to Others). Over the year I have spent more time listening and working with individuals and small groups and gained a greater understanding of what it is they believe and want to achieve. Time to build some relationships has definitely made a difference, after all no one goes to work with the intention to be terrible or do a poor job. Starting from this point I have been able to see more clearly what breeds reluctance or fear in trying something new.
I believe it is essential that whatever the small step may be to change our practice for the better, we must commit to take that challenge. For some it may be something grand, for others it may be small shift in habit or attitude or just acknowledging that support is needed.
I have the most respect for staff whom I know are feeling frightened by trying something new, but are willing to do so because they know it will benefit the kids. If we are willing to be vulnerable and admit “this is hard” or “this is scary” or “I am feeling intimidated by this” but then seek support from others we are truly modelling the challenge of learning for our students.
So this year, what will you do to make a move or shake it up, to take a chance, to make a change?
Original photo cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by 55Laney69
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me professionally and when things aren’t easy we need strategies to cope or ways of easing the stress or strain. For me, music is an avenue to escape for a while. I have a large collection and range of music from hip hop to folk, from grunge to pop. Music can make me laugh, cry, dance, relax and at times reflect. I am often drawn to singer songwriters who tell a story and rouse imagery. Josh Pyke is brilliant at this and it was while listening to his Memories and Dus
t that I took a very deep breath and found a sense of relief.
First I was a hatchling waiting for my little bones to form
Next I was a fledging leaping from the nest despite the fall
oh they fall, how we fall
I consider myself a fairly strong, resilient individual. I’ve had many emotional and professional challenges including the loss of both my parents and I continue to focus on what’s great in my life. These lyrics remind me that we can at times be fledglings who fall, hoping our bones aren’t so brittle they break. I am learning that being vulnerable is not a bad thing, it’s how we manage during and after such time that will show our constitution.
Along with music I lean on my amazing circle of influence. These people play a range of roles for me. Years ago, I could pick up the phone and call my mother and in her, I had someone who would listen, who understood, who could give wise advice and at times when I needed it, just let me be sad. When my mother passed away, it took me a while to figure out how and with whom I could debrief or be vulnerable. I have never felt comfortable asking for help, or confessing to feeling overwhelmed. What I have come to realise is that I have amazing people in my life who fulfil different roles to help me manage during times of hardship or tension. The past week, these people have brought me back to life, helped me “shake it off” and face a new day with the conviction and energy I normally approach each day. For this I am truly grateful.