#2021 the year that was.

As part of our blogging process for this year, we were asked to reflect on 5 questions based on the year that was.

What is something you individually accomplished this year that you are proud of?

This year I’m really proud of my team. We worked really hard to adapt, change and work together especially during the lockdown period. However, more than this our team was different. We had job shares, new teachers join our team and teachers leave to welcome new babies into the world. It has been a year of change but our team shared a sense of ‘togetherness.’ I’m really proud of that.

What are the three most important things you learned this year?

This year I learnt resilience, compassion and a sense of ‘mateship.’

Resilience in hard times determines whether you sink or swim. In three months of lockdown while also postponing a wedding I promised myself to keep a smile and keep ‘keeping on.’ While allowing yourself to feel was important I also learnt and had a deep sense of compassion for those who were doing it tougher than I was. People who has lost their jobs, struggling to put food on the tables or families that were isolated from each other. Lastly, in the spirit of mateship, I learnt to look out for those around me. Sharing small tokens of thoughts that meant we knew we were thinking of each other. Zoom trivia nights, care packages and all round good vibes.

What are six adjectives that best describe this school year?

Happiness, joy, struggle, love, tough, supportive

What is something you learnt from a fellow colleague this year?

My team partner, Natalie Hanna, who only in her second year of teaching has battled two lockdowns and two very vastly different school years has taught me the power of positivity. She is a little bubble of energy. Additionally, I have learnt a lot with my EMU colleagues. Stepping into the new role at the start of the year, I had a passion for teaching mathematics but I have learnt more than I ever thought possible. Supporting vulnerable students in the classroom and in the intervention space has been so rewarding.

Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive it at the start of the school year, what advice would you give your one year younger self?

Dear Angela,

This year is going to be tough. You thought 2021 had it’s fair share. This year will prove you are tougher, stronger and more resilient that you will ever know. This school year will be like no other you have ever experienced, or probably, will ever experience. As I write this letter knowing what I know now, these are my tips:

  1. Turn up the smile in even the darkest of times. Show up for the students who are in front of you and are craving any normalcy in their day. When you’ve got track pants down bottom and work attire up top, slap on the music and be the brightness in 30 students’ day.
  2. Keep up the routine. Wake up, move your body, eat healthy and don’t spend too long on the screen. The routine that you establish early on in lockdown will ensure you are able to sustain three months.
  3. Hug your loved ones. When weddings get cancelled and it feels like you’ll never see your mum and dad again because you’re in a LGA of concern (trust me you’ll learn this term) remember that time is precious. Soak up the first half of the year.
  4. Rise to the challenge. Through the transition to leadership you’ll soon experience, keep in mind the why. Think of the students you are serving, the data that’s being presented and how you can be ever adaptable.

I hope these tips serve you to survive #2021 the year that was.

Angela

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