This vloggy-blog will not require you to find an extra 10mins in your day, change your diet or start jogging.
You just need the time it takes to read/watch this and contemplate three questions that help us connect with why we’re doing what we’re doing. What kind of leaders did we originally want to be? – and are we doing it?
1. What was it that drew you to education?
What was your vision? What was the impact you thought you could make?
For myself, quiet madly, I began teaching when I was 15yrs old. I set up a drama school for primary school aged children: I put them 100% successfully through exams, they gained places at Festival competitions and we performed numerous times around the town. The reason I did this was because I was so enthralled with my own experience of performing arts that I wanted to share that with others, to share the confidence, freedom and the fun!
More recently, I have concentrated increasingly on working with pupils with behaviour issues – because I saw increasingly pupils in mainstream schools who were struggling and for whom school was not accommodating. Seeing the marginalisation and exclusion pulled on my passion for equality in education – I believe strongly that all children have the right to an education. I felt I could advocate for these vulnerable pupils, accommodate for them and work with them.
2. How far are you aligned with that original vision that drew you to education?
As I reflect on my personal journey, there is a tangent – performing arts is not my main focus anymore. For me I’m happy with that, at 15yrs I don’t think I would have even thought about working with pupils with behaviour issues. By my early 20s that was, however, coming to the forefront – especially because of how wonderful the performing arts can be as a medium for pupils with behavioural issues. It feels like the curves in my journey are part of an ongoing refinement.
Maybe you have a journey like mine – you have wandered around and maybe away from your original vision – and it feels like a positive thing, you’re excited to discover what comes next.
But maybe your tangent is not aligned with anything that makes you feel fired up or passionate – this is usually easy to spot – what percentage of the time do you feel like getting up in the mornings?
I have seen this a lot among middle-management where people have made a career move upwards, but it has also included going sideways, as it were, and has landed them in a place that actually doesn’t make them happy day-today.
Some people may be aligned with their original vision- but they’ve discovered that it’s not what they thought it would be, or they’ve changed. That’s OK too – what other avenues would you like to explore? Here’s a permission slip to start getting nosey and asking questions…
For some of you, you may be bang on your original vision and happy with that – in which case, congratulations! Happy people don’t cause too many wars I have worked out!
3. What’s your vision now in education – as a leader? How do you want to make a positive impact for the pupils?
The vision I have honed down, which acts as a compass for me in a lot of the work I do is this, it’s what gets me motivated on November mornings:
My vision for education is one in which all differences are included and welcomed; education is flexible, relevant and leads towards positive social change.
I love hearing about people’s career stories – I look forward to hearing your answers – our answers that reconnect and refocus us to our calling…