So the inspiration to start my blog was ignited with an invitation to be a guest speaker at an important Award Ceremony at my old high school. Preparing for this presentation to 800+ students and staff was quite daunting. What did I want to share? What had I achieved in the last 10 years? What would I want to hear if I was in the audience?
Not sure if I managed to answer that last question but here are some parts of the presentation I came up with.
It is very easy to offer advice in hindsight. But that’s not what I want to do. What I would like to share is things that I have learnt up until now as I moved from school to uni and back into schools.
- Find your path
There is more than one way to get your destination and the path most travelled is not necessarily the one for you. Or, you may choose the take a little detour and whether you end up back on your original path (or not) is up to you with the opportunities and challenges you will face. There’s also nothing wrong with setting up a few different avenues of possibility and revisiting them later.
- Focus on your strengths
We all know that if you like something, you’re more likely to work at it and want to succeed. I remember being told that when I was in Year 10. It’s true for studying and beyond. Health and sport were always my passion and pursuing a career where I could continue to be involved in both was a logical decision. On a more practical note, most of us will spend between 6-10 hours each day at work. Given the significance of that amount of time, it helps to enjoy what you do. So if your strengths and your job are related, the greater the chance of enjoyment and success.
- Make it work for you
Use what is around you to your advantage, particularly those things already at your fingertips. I’m sure many of you right now are curious about what is happening in your Facebook or Twitter community and are wondering how you can check it out discretely on your phone. I have to admit, I have recently become a Twitter devotee. But as well as being entertaining and a general communication tool, my Twitter community is actually much, much more than that. It has become an essential part of my Personal Learning Network, or PLN, which consists of people from all over the country who offer advice support and, most of all, fantastic ideas and discussions which influence my teaching on a daily basis. My PLN has also opened many doors to becoming involved in a variety of eLearning projects and forums which I would not have known about otherwise. So social media – Entertaining? Yes. Accessible? Very. Useful? Absolutely!
- Look at the big picture
We all have goals and dreams but we all need to establish some sort of starting point to get there. I’ve generally tried to steer clear of too many cliche’s so far but sometimes they are just so appropriate. Where do you want to be at the end of the day and how are you going to get there? Maybe your big picture will have been photo-shopped and air brushed a little between now and when you actually encounter it. But the sentiment and emotion should still be the same if it is genuinely meaningful to you.
- Learn to ask, ask to learn
There are many reasons why people go into teaching – but here’s mine. I love learning.
Completing my Masters of Education and my Personal Training certificates in recent years have also been challenging but enjoyable. Teaching means that I have to constantly learn new things myself and I have the wonderful opportunity to help others learn everyday too. Learning fosters connectedness, learning is a collaborative process and learning is creative.
I’m not sure if I will stay in teaching for my whole working life. At the moment though, I am absolutely loving it as I am constantly learning everyday along with my students. No two days are ever the same. If I ever get to the stage where I can no longer appreciate these two elements of the job, I’ll know it’s time to move on. But particularly with 21st century learning taking hold, I don’t see that happening any time soon.
In closing, I would like to leave you with something that is hopefully worth remembering.
I must confess, I am a fan of acronyms (pause) and I blame the PDHPE syllabus for instigating this with CROW ST V for principles of training, RICER and TOTAPS for sports medicine – you get the idea. I have also been known to leave inadvertently cryptic notes for my staff, such as
“Can you please let me know ASAP if you cannot attend the TPL on PBL on Monday, venue is TBA.”
So on that theme, I was trying to come with an acronym to sum up the ideas of my presentation today:
– To enjoy what life has to offer
– To focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses
– To establish your own path
– To keep learning and asking
– To engage or disengage as you wish with the digital world
– To be true to yourself
So what acronym did I come up with to encompass all of these? Well none actually. A bit of a fail in this department I have to admit. However, the common thread through all these ideas is clear and it is the importance of our CHOICES.
Grow with the good ones, learn from the poor ones and make each one count.
I will try to be true to my ideas from that presentation in my blog.
Welcome to Clarinda’s Connected Contemplations!