Joyful Reflections

1 Feb

I have just completed my first two days of school professional development as a real, live teacher.  The focus for the two days has been on unpacking and becoming conscious of our school ‘brand’. I hope to do a post very soon expanding on the wonderful things we learned and talked about during this P.D but for now I would like to share my reflections on my personal journey that occurred.

We were asked to reflect on and share our favourite and least favourite memories from primary school, our time as pre-service teachers and teachers, as well as considering the school values and guiding principles which resonate with us most (and least).  A seemingly easy task stirred in me a plethora of unexpected emotions. Thinking about my own positive experiences and hearing those of others stirred in me excitement at the prospect of being a part of joyful memories for my students.

However, it wasn’t all warm and fuzzy.  Doubt crept in moving me to question my ability to be creative enough, exuberant enough and memorable enough.  The sharing of negative experiences kindled anxiety, fear and further doubt – will I be able to withstand the tough times? Am I passionate enough to stick it out through the inevitable hurdles? How can I make a difference amongst so many challenges?  To be completely honest I felt like hiding and having a good cry.

Thankfully, the day didn’t end there!

Our second session involved discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our school and ourselves.  Discussion uncovered the abundant strengths of our fabulous school.  When remembering my first impression of the school, nearly a year ago, I recall being overwhelmed firstly by the delightfully cheerful, helpful and welcoming administration staff. Relationships were quickly formed as my professional experience placement progressed. I have been struck by how friendly, collaborative and child-focused the staff at the school is and how this is nurtured by our executive team in a whole school approach.

As we delved into the aspects of our school which we would like to improve we were surprisingly not confronted by negativity and disappointment. Rather, we were led to critically consider our role in creating change as we noticed, perhaps for the first time, the impact of things seemingly out of our control on the way in which we are perceived.  We became excited at the prospect of embracing change and improving ourselves.  I was touched by the incredible support system surrounding my school and the way in which our whole group values are aligned, our visions are shared and our hopes for the future ignite a common passion.

At the end of the day I did not feel fearful, anxious or doubtful.  In fact until it came time to share the day’s events with my husband I had completely forgotten my earlier feelings of trepidation.  I was not focused on the words “I”, “Me” or “My”.  I did not desperately wish to curl up in a corner in the foetal position.  I was excited about US!

I am amazed at how becoming vulnerable opened me up to sharing more deeply with others and encouraged me to celebrate my community rather than dwelling on my own weaknesses and doubts.  My participation in this school or in the broader education community is not about ME.  It’s not about doing it all myself.

We will encounter challenges, we will struggle and we will have moments where we question ourselves but it’s not about ME.  I am overjoyed to have entered a profession and, more importantly a school, that is about collaboration, support, encouragement, growth and lifelong learning.



4 Responses to “Joyful Reflections”

  1. Coral Swan February 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Sounds like a happy positive start!
    Good luck…

    • Mrs Wansink February 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Thank you Coral.

      I am very much looking forward to it!

  2. Mel the Literacy Coach February 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Hi, It sounds like you are working at a great school and it is good to hear that you feel so supported. Do you teach in a primary or secondary school? I can’t wait to hear more about your first days in the classroom. Thanks for liking my recent post!
    Mel 😀

    • Mrs Wansink February 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      I certainly am 🙂 I am at a primary school, teaching year 1/2. I’m loving the opportunity that blogs provide to connect with the broader teaching community – thank you for sharing your experiences through your blog 🙂

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