1. I have more patience than I ever believed possible. As somebody who possessses a nasty temper when pushed, I’ve surprised myself by usually being able to remain calm and speak in a slow, positive tone even when faced with the most challenging of behaviours. Usually.
2. I am capable of adapting to unforeseen circumstances at the last minute.
3. I am never too old to be able to learn new things and develop skills, and I enjoy doing so.
4. There is no such thing as stupid. Intelligence is not always measured by levels and grades. I’ve worked with thousands of students that were deemed to be academically mediocre who were superb instrumentalists, athletes, artists and designers.
5. I don’t like sitting down and listening to other people talk for long periods of time. I’ve always considered myself to be a visual learner, preferring to read instructions and follow them, but sitting through what must be hundreds of hours of meetings and training days has made me realise that I much prefer to be up and actually doing something.
6. After delivering numerous discussions on all sorts of personal subjects, there is no topic that I am embarrassed to talk about.
7. Respect is something to be earned, not demanded. I always expect to be treated with manners regardless of someone’s age, but in the early stages of my career I believed that simply standing at the front of a classroom warranted respect from all of my students automatically. Now, I realise that true and genuine respect will come from consistency, high expectations, praise, encouragement and having boundaries.
8. It is important not to compare yourself to anyone else. When I saw the amount of work my colleagues often put into seemingly daily routines, I often used to feel like I wasn’t doing enough. Now, I know that, like my students, we all have different rates that we work at, and prioritise differently… and that’s ok.
9. Everyone has a story, and I’ve tried to learn not to make judgements until I know what that story is.
10. The work/life balance is more important than anything. After watching hundreds of teachers sacrifice their personal lives, their families and their health because of the job over the years, I now make sure that I work to live, not live to work.
What about you? What has your job taught you about yourself?
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