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a little bit naughty!

December 23, 2015 , , , , , ,

Matilda Pose

Look at that pose! The one on the left is the famous “Matilda” pose, and the one on the right is me, aged 3, striking a similar stance.

One of the Con High staff pointed it out to me, and said, “You’re destined to make waves even when you don’t mean to!”

And I have to confess, I was a little bit proud. I spent last week visiting my colleagues at the Conservatorium High School, completely and utterly delighted at the opportunity to reconnect with the staff + students I had worked with in 2014. All the while, I was making accidental waves. Just by being me. That’s not bad. Imagine if I’d actually put effort into making waves. They’d be tsunami waves.

Making waves is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. While I am absolutely invested in saying and doing things that are authentic and line up with my own set of values, the process of navigating using my moral compass weighs in on my heart as much as anyone who has a heart that beats. I am always surprised when friends, family, or colleagues tell me that I navigate this emotional minefield so well. I sit still with my thoughts and listen acutely to them, and explore all the options with my head and my heart, but the final outcome, the final set of words, always costs me heart + integrity. And I wouldn’t have it other way…it means I have a heart that works beautifully, and that my head + heart are in conversation. I worry, I ache with wonder, or grief, am made quiet by sadness, or set alight with joy, or flushed with searing anger…I feel things acutely, even if I chose the right set of words for the moment in time I am trying to soothe or acknowledge. I try to read the language of each stumbling block like a book, and try to understand it, and that takes courage, time + integrity.

There are some intrinsic things about me that I will not give up; the mess of colourful stripes + spots, the cheekiness, the sense of optimism, my deep need to “introvert” (verb) at the end of a school day, and the playfulness I will always try and bring into my classroom, my rehearsals, and that I hope completely spills into all areas of my life. I am fully-formed on these points, and I’m not going to part with these.

I will also never give up the connection + love I have for my students, the chance to listen to them deeply and assist them in whatever way that I am able under my duty of care and within the boundaries as a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. Yes, friend. If I am pushed to the limit, I will always be a teacher first. My job is not to make them laugh, or to entertain them, or make lessons so unbelievably exciting and engaging that the students gobble up everything I have to say. No, it isn’t. But I happen to love doing this as a teacher, and will do so where I am able. I happen to want to love them in that order; first as a teacher with strong duty of care, second as a mentor who allows them freedom to fly independently, and third as a friend who cares about them as a complete person.

But, as my colleague + friend pointed out, I am…a little bit naughty. I’m cheeky. I’m playful. I love what I do. I’m bright + cheerful. I love and care for the students. I try and do all this upon a strong + solid foundation of good values. And in doing all these things, I’ve made waves when I haven’t intended to. Yes, I am just a “little bit naughty”!

I’m good with that.

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