“You’re ridiculous! You’re committing career suicide! You have worked far too hard to throw it all away! What if it doesn’t work out? Aren’t you scared?... Do it, I wish I had. Go, go now and don’t look back.”
A year ago I decided that I would leave everything and everyone that I know and pursue a longing that I couldn’t silence. I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me when I landed in Australia and I didn’t know how long I would stay.
As it turns out, making that decision was the best thing I could have done for myself and for my career: -
Leaving my comfort zone has always been a difficult endeavour as I like to be in control and have everything organised. The very concept requires me to ignore the sensible voice in my head and follow my passions and I find it scary as hell when I find myself second guessing my own decisions.
I have always been adventurous when it comes to travelling and I have always loved the thrill, so it didn’t really come as a shock when I left for somewhere new.
… this journey has literally clawed at my heart, ripped me to shreds, chewed me up, swallowed me and somehow managed to spit me out whole. It has taught me to recognise my investments, goals and above all my losses when it comes to people. It has taught me that strength is important but also that there is a reset button for a reason. It has taught me that meditation and mindfulness are key ingredients to a peaceful mind. It has taught me that gratitude should go hand in hand with oxygen, food and water. And above all, it has taught me that if strength is sought, strength will be found.
I have been putting this one off for a while… Before teaching in Australia I had a reputation for being quite scary and strict and this worked for me in terms of behaviour management. But unfortunately this reputation wasn’t only acknowledged by the pupils that I taught (as one colleague pointed out) and it was time that this changed.
I remember a quote written by Eric Roth in the film adaptation of ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again’
And that’s when I fell into the lap of WSPS. Imagine if you will an establishment full of caring and nurturing individuals who are willing to take you under their comforting wing. Imagine a place filled with a glow that only an outsider can truly witness. Imagine a school full of happy children who feel supported. Imagine a room full of colleagues but instead see a very large family smiling back at you.
It took a couple of weeks to realise that this wasn’t my imagination at all but was in fact a reality. WSPS really does have the most incredible staff and pupils and it has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with them. They have helped refine my teaching in so many ways; from curricular areas, assessment, pedagogy and expanding my knowledge and experience in teaching pupils with disability, ASN/PDD/ASD (Acronym subject to where you are in the world) and for that I am truly grateful.
A part of my journey to Australia was to extend my pedagogy and boy has it been extended. It’s not a common skill to be a secondary school, primary school and specialist teacher. But my biggest gain from this was meeting you all. I have enjoyed the stories, anecdotes and conversations...
Until next time