28 Days Later

The last 28 days of writing have been inspirational, humbling and thought provoking.  I don’t , deserve the plaudits, I’m just a (Welsh) bloke wriggling my way through school, refusing to give up.  Stubbornness is me.  28 days later is a film set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, I hope this at least plants a seed.
Sometimes when words fail me and I have difficulty staying focused, I turn to the words of others. Sorry, but there’s no real point to this post, see the work of others for the practical stuff -it’s not really my strength.  Ready for a window to my soul?

There’s this thing about a dress going around at the moment and it reminds me why I just don’t listen to my inner voice and give up.  Give up teaching, give up the job. It’s perspective. Thing is, if I give up, for whatever reason, then ‘they’ve’ won.  Not Oftsed or continuity Gove, but those ‘told you so’ people. I’m not giving up because, like Neo in the Matrix, I believe I can make the change.  Learning is a beautiful struggle, and those that are charged with its development must struggle too.

Naive? Sure. Do I think I will? No idea – and therein lies the adventure. 

I like running, and some of my favourite quotes apply to teaching, which also needs endurance, stamina, perseverance, grit, determination…:

‘If you’re dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.’

We’re all afraid at some point of the enormity of the goals we set, but is there much point in pedestrian ideals and sticking with what we know? How can we expect young people to aspire, if we don’t?

‘Run when you can; walk when you have to; crawl when you must; just never give up.’

And do all of this whilst trying to look calm and collected. Sometimes we are on our knees and it’s far easier to turn around or give up.  My mother once said that life is like a corridor full of doors.  The only thing we have to do is decide which ones we will go through. Some are more difficult to open than others.

‘I Never ran a thousand miles. I could never do that. I ran one mile a thousand times.’

Sometimes the goal we seek is way out of reach.  However we can visualise what it is and how to get there and by maintaining momentum, small actions can make huge changes.

‘I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.’

Some time we need to find out how far we can go….  We can’t really control many of the factors that affect our every day work.  But we can control how we react to them.  For example, do we see curriculum change as an opportunity to learn, or as a burden? How does that affect how we act, smile, dance, sing and treat others?
And this is the real reason why:

Enter the Staffrm.  What started as a quest to earn a mug (I have a bit of a fetish) turned into much, much more.  From practical tips, to thought shrapnel and deep philosophical pondering. #28DaysofWriting has turned into a celebration of teaching.  Dare we be that collection of individuals who never give up? Will be still be here, making a difference? Dare we dream big and fail?

In all honesty, I don’t have all of the answers. Nor do I really want them. I fail everyday, but I love my job.  I have no desire to do anything else.  I love the job because of its difficulties. I believe that teachers will succeed when we show and model the same grit and determination that my mother shows every single day of her life.  She once told me that she would have ended her life years ago, but she believes in God and has to be there for us.  
So, who’s going to come and have a go?  I’m here waiting.

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