The future of humanity

#iwd17

I have spent lots of time recently thinking about my vision for education, my values and what I want to achieve as an educator. Suddenly a massive thought - teachers hold the future of humanity in their hands! 

Then I started to think about actions I have taken recently, have I been creating a future generation of humanity full of characteristics they will need or am I simply perpetuating the academic part of education, which is expected? Am I a lone voice in meetings talking about educating the whole child with a curriculum full of character building opportunities? Do I make my point of mental health, warm-heartedness and kindness without excuse?

These are the very questions that have spurred me on to be bold and have courage in my core values. I need to be bold to make sure that students, whose self-esteem has been lowered by trolls and unkind words below their selfies have lessons in how to be confident in the real and virtual world. 

So what constitutes being bold?

Turning up to a meeting with a clear plan of how to bring change to the curriculum. Standing firm when obstacles are placed in the way and finding a way to deliver what you feel needs to change. If it is for the future of humanity then #beboldforchange is not optional but a necessity. 

Imagine writing a letter to yourself in the past. 

Dear person I used to be, there is no point moaning about issues that are annoying you because you can be the change maker. You just have to be #10%braver and #beboldforchange  from, the person you later became.

The consequences of being bold for me has been bringing my whole self to my job. Authentic leadership isn't easy in some settings, yet we need to show students our skills by fully showing up each day with our whole being.

Running mental health assemblies this week I have shared vulnerabilities too. My mum died when I was in y7 and I remember my sister asking me if I was ok - I said I'm fine. The I'm fine campaign suggests this is a classic response and we all need to be able to say I'm not ok. By being authentic in that assembly I had the inner confidence to share. To go beyond being a data driven results manager to sharing with students that we will all have difficult life journeys. My 10#braver challenge was to share part of my experience in the aim to get students sharing when their life journey hits a rocky patch. You don't have to pretend to be invincible.

Without attending #womened‍ events and connecting with the inspiring community, I truly feel I would still be doing an ok job. Now I have the confidence to #beboldforchange. My pledge at the #womened‍ Unconference was to help new teachers grow in their confidence. 

We can empower young people, students and future leaders to change the world. What's your #iwd17#beboldforchange‍ story?

Author Profile

Julie Hunter

Julie Hunter

Deputy Headteacher Lifelong pedagogy magpie and sharer.

49 stories

Comments

Leanne Avis Leanne Avis @missavis 5 months ago
@mshmfl wonderfully written blog! We *are* the future of humanity. I'm sure your students and colleagues can see the human in you, not just through your assemblies, but your passion for change and confidence. Can't wait to hear more about your journey. #beboldforchange :)
3
Nasima Riazat Nasima Riazat @nasima 5 months ago
Really like how being brave is so much more than just what we see on the outside. Much more intrinsic and your blog really brings that to life. :-)
3
Nasima Riazat Nasima Riazat @nasima 5 months ago
Really like how being brave is so much more than just what we see on the outside. Much more intrinsic and your blog really brings that to life. :-)
1
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 5 months ago
Wow! This is a stunning opening to our #digimeet Julie. You embody everything #womened has become. Your authenticity shines through, whilst your conviction & quiet determination for humanity for all is a call to arms. Which values led leadership, values based curriculum, a focus on the whole child we most definitely need to show up a while being too. Thank you. This is an inspiring & empowering kick off!
2
Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 5 months ago
Inspired start of our digimeet. Why pretending, putting a brave face on, is bold! Beingboldforchange is about honesty. Knowing that others struggle, have struggled and have come through, is empowering. It's about the strength of communication, community and collaboration. Let's stop kidding others, let be authentic, let's say "wow, this is getting on top of me" - I have found in those moments of honesty, my team has stepped in, stepped up. @mshmfl Julie, that was a bold assembly and I am sure your students felt honoured and humbled and empowered to see/hear you be "you".
3
Katie Smith Katie Smith @mrskatesmith 5 months ago
How brave of you to share some of yourself with your pupils in order that they can open up about their experiences too - very inspiring! Values should and must be the foundations for every school culture and curriculum! :)
3
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@missavis interesting how few assemblies actually let students see the struggles staff have been through. Empowering young people can be showing we don't live in a perfect reality show.
2
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@nasima being bold started with pretending I could stand up and run a workshop at WomenEd, then it became intrinsic. Being bold takes time and I think students should know we get scared too.
3
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@misswilsey still learning how to fully embrace authentic leadership but each WomenEd leadmeet, blog inspires me to continue my journey. Community, confidence, challenge, change, communication, collaboration, clarity and connection are a potent mix for us all aiming for #10%braver
2
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@kerry key message this week was it's ok to not be ok but talk to someone. As teachers we often have to pretend we are invincible and actually students benefit from seeing how we deal with difficulties. Modelling our learning helps them change too.
4
Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 5 months ago
I do believe this Julie. Simply wrong to pretend and simply right to say, yes it's hard but if you/we try we might crack it. Resilience IS NOT about pretending? it does hurt/scare/frighten us.
3
Lianne Aherne Lianne Aherne @ljaherne 5 months ago
I really enjoyed reading this. Your point about the letter and the moaning reminded me of something I once heard somebody say which is that 'anger without action is self-indulgent'. This statement has stuck with me through the years and is very good for helping us to get out of the negative moaning mindset. Doing something, however small, is empowering and has the potential to help. The positivity within the #womened community and the speed of its growth is testament to people living out the 10% braver mantra! Thanks for sharing.
3
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
The letter about moaning is a great reminder @ljaherne when we hear ourselves or others doing it. #beboldforchange is the positive antidote to simply moaning.
2
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 5 months ago
Beautiful Julie! You are a fantastic role model for those students and sharing your story will, I'm sure, give them the confidence to share their own struggles. This community is so strong and positive that we don't need to moan - here's to holding our heads high and banishing the whinges! X
3
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 5 months ago
Ps tag it as #iwd17 & it will go into our bank of blogs for people to find
2
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@natw amazing how few assemblies have staff telling their story. So important.
1
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 5 months ago
@mshmfl that was an opening for the #digimeet that deserves and ENCORE! I am so pleased we are in the same tribe - you are resolute and have my respect
2
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
Thank you @cerasmusteach I must admit it has been a week of digging deep. Finding ourselves is a great starting point to build our dream futures.
1
Martha Da Costa-Sherwood Martha Da Costa-Sherwood @dacosmeconsult 5 months ago
Reading your blog reminded me why I joined the profession, no one ever said it was going to be easy, but it's an important job none-the-less. It's easy to get caught up in the negatives, harder to search for the positives and even harder to take action. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of being BOLD and taking action
2
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@dacosmeconsult I have working with PGCE students this year and we keep coming back to why are we teaching as a core question in meetings. Powerful reminder to us all to go back to the beginning and see the profession through other eyes.
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 5 months ago
Great start @mshmfl and your authenticity as a leader shines through. We talked a lot about non-negotiables at yesterday's lWomenEdLondon unconference and your blog is a shining example of this.
1
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
Thank you @vivienne attending WomenEd events is a great way for people to see authentic leadership. You have to see it to be it. Unconferences really amplify the self belief in owning your leadership journey
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 5 months ago
A really good demonstration of what being authentic as a teacher and leader means, Julie. We talk about authenticity a lot but I sometimes wonder whether we have a clear understanding of what it means in practice.

I think our profession has suffered from the suggestion that teachers, and especially leaders, shouldn't show emotion, as somehow that indicates weakness and others will lose confidence in us. My view is that sensitivity and empathy are great strengths, and that we have to recognise we are emotional as well as rational beings. I remember that my voice used to wobble and my eyes fill (it still happens!) when I talked about something I felt strongly about (eg in assembly), but if you can go on to control that emotion so that you are coherent and say what you want to say that's fine! I think the fact that I did this made me a stronger leader, and a better person, rather than a weak one. Looking forward to catching up with all the #iwd17 posts.
2
Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 5 months ago
@jillberry I totally believe this Jill, empathy is core quality of outstanding leadership. But it's belittled or confused with "being soft" (low expectations/standards). I can just about remember what it was like to teach 21 periods, and not get my first "free" until Wednesday. Having break duty and no time to go to loo or grab a coffee because I had to cover a lesson ... Let's be bold about EMPATHY.
1
Sam Williams Sam Williams @samwilliams 5 months ago
@mshmfl Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts. Your assembly sounds like the kind that reach out to your audience and will stay with them.

Your message about it is ok not to be ok, but talk to someone, really strikes a chord with me and is such a good reminder about why we work with people. Showing that teachers are people with stories too, is always a valuable lesson for our students and for other staff to see each other as people rather than as our position.
1
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 5 months ago
"Let's be bold about EMPATHY" - love it, @kerry!
1
Liz Jones Liz Jones @lizjones 5 months ago
'I'm fine' is a very dangerous phrase. It is a terrible barrier for the speaker and a reassuring excuse the the hearer. It's like the conversational reply equivalent of 'nice'.
1
Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 5 months ago
No one expects us to say, "actually I am feeling very anxious about this. But it is reassuring to know I gave your understanding and support"! Why can't we have these real conversations?
1
Emma Whitwam Emma Whitwam @misswhitwam 5 months ago
Love this! Really inspirational !
1
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@jillberry thank you. It is a fine line to tread in a massive assembly hall but I feel it was important to be real with students. Leading whole school ethos this year is definitely teaching me to be a stronger leader.
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@samwilliams I've heard students say frequently but you have no idea what my life is like. Reminding students that we are people too can help build bridges and open conversations.
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 5 months ago
@lizjones Mental Health Foundation video campaign is a great way to introduce the danger of saying I'm fine. @misswhitwam thank you
{{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} {{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} Join the conversation
Sign in or sign up to post comments, follow colleagues, recommend stories and build your own professional profile.
Staffrm is the professional network for educators passionate about their work.
Please Sign In {{ modalData }} Sign In