A collision of 'Personal Legends'


(Image taken by Martin Burrett) 

I'm currently sat by a pool soaking up the Spanish sun. I've just read a book cover to cover. Magic. 

The book? The Alchemist. 

It's a fable about a boy called Santiago who, despite facing many difficulties, follows his dreams, or his 'Personal Legend'.

It left me thinking about my own 'Personal Legend' and how that relates to teaching.

Just like Santiago, we are all tested as educators. Unnecessary admin tasks, unmanageable marking, difficult staff, short deadlines, disgruntled parents, inactive governors, the constant curriculum changes, even troublesome students. Each of them tests our strengths and weaknesses, and, hopefully, we are wiser for the experience. 

The way I see it, teaching can't be that bad. If it was then why did so many people turn up to #TMLondon, many of them halfway through their Easter break?

The answer is simple. When we forget about the daily dramas and see through the political fog, we are left with something quite nice: we are all there to make a difference. To make a difference to the lives of those we teach by sharing our love of learning. Whatever your subject specialism, there is a common purpose shared by all. Perhaps, collectively, each of our 'Personal Legends' is contributing to a greater 'Public Legend'?

If so, what a powerful meeting of minds TMLondon was! Each of us there to be better at what we do. I marvelled at the sheer volume of inspiration. 

Each of the speakers shared something useful to remember. Wise words from Jill, Mary, Richard and Alex resonated. The practical talks from Stephen, Mark, Amjad, Martin and Andy were just brilliant. We were spoilt for choice.

It was also great to finally meet up with teachers who I communicate with on Twitter. There really are some wonderful teachers out there making a real difference. What a profession to be proud of. 

My final thought is one I always return to. It's something Jill holds in high regard, too. Relationships. Positive relationships make positive schools. Let's make our schools the best places for our students to learn. They, after all, have their own 'Personal Legends' to follow. 

'That's what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.' 

I'll tag people properly when I have a decent wifi! 

Author Profile

Abigail Mann

Abigail Mann

English Lead Practitioner. Literacy Co-ordinator. NQT Co-ordinator. Schools Direct coach.

103 stories


Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin @kevinmclaughlin 2 years ago
"Positive relationships make positive schools" - right there with you @abster if all schools could incorporate this into their ethos then I really do believe we would have nothing to fear, not even Ofsted.
Jo Baker Jo Baker @jobaker 2 years ago
Excellent read - thank you. Definitely about the relationships. Each a cog in the machine. Made me think about the relationships I have with a variety of different people within my teaching career.
Stephen Lockyer Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer 2 years ago
A lovely read @abster and a reminder to write my #tmlondon post. I love that Teachmeets are a little like reunions with people you've never met before! Tmlondon was a box of delights and I love that we had chance to open that box and see what was inside. Really invigorating and inspiring stuff.
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 years ago
I think you pinched that 'reunions with people you've never met before' line from me, @mrlockyer. But I know it isn't about who takes the credit....!

Lovely to read this, Abbie. Great to see you on Weds, and hope you continue to enjoy the sun and the reading! You deserve it.
Stephen Lockyer Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer 2 years ago
@jillberry Argh - was it you? I thought I had originally said it about SLTcamp, but apols if it was you. Have my last Easter Egg by way of apology. x
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 years ago
Seriously, @mrlockyer - I'm always quoting Harry S Truman: 'There's no limit to what we can achieve if we don't care who gets the credit'! Perhaps it was both of us - but it doesn't matter. Go eat that egg....
Judith Williams Judith Williams @judew11 2 years ago
'A powerful meeting of minds' sums up my TMLondon experience. To feel the energy & enthusiasm, emanating from those of us wanting to be better teachers, continues to inspire almost a week later!
Rachel  Smith Rachel Smith @rachelsmith 2 years ago
The positivity and passion that room on Wednesday was fabulous. Makes you feel proud to be in the profession. Proud of my crowd.
Tim Jefferis Tim Jefferis @tjjteacher 2 years ago
@jillberry I like the phrase 'reunions with people you've never met before' nice way of describing what happens at meetings nowadays! Mind if I nick it too (EdD quote?)
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 years ago
Nick away, @tjjteacher - as I often say, every good idea I've ever had I've pinched from someone.
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