Alongside this I began a blog – which people read and then I gave webinars about blogging – which people attended. This has been all in the midst of ‘unprecendented circumstances’ as Covid-19 has ravaged the world that I live in. As many educators have, I have taught in new ways – I have bubbled, become adept at Google Classroom and learnt to use so many new and wonderful digital tools. I am great at using Zoom, Streamyard and Periscope – none of which I knew in 2019.
2020 has been a dark year as we have dealt with an international pandemic, but at the same time it has provided opportunities that otherwise might never have occurred and courage to take risks. One of these opportunities was to start my own podcast ‘Tiny Voice Talks’ – a podcast celebrating the quieter voices of the educational world and the breadth of experience out there. I have already spoken to so many wonderful people on this and have so many more booked in to speak to soon. Find them under the podcast tab on this website!
Another of these, is #BrewEdFindYourVoice which took place on Saturday 29th August from 9am – 5pm. This was a mad idea that I had as the last school year ended (July 2020). I thought, why don’t I host an event in which people who have not had a platform to speak are given one?! An idea is a great thing but gosh – how would I action it? In all honesty, it has taken so much work and effort from not just me but the other people involved too. So many emails and DMs have been exchanged. I have become a ‘Canva Master’ and I have pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone that I no longer know where my comfort zone is.
The night before #BrewEdFindYourVoice I couldn’t sleep – sorry I exaggerate, I slept from 1am – 3am! I was wracked with nerves and filled with the endless possibilities of things that could go wrong. I was so worried about messing up! It is hard when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone because – it is uncomfortable!! I don’t know about you but I don’t like feeling uncomfortable, I like feeling happy and content and chilled. However, I am someone who spends most of my life pushing myself further and further out of my comfort zone.
Why? Because when I read ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers I came across this quote and it really resonated with me.
Prior to coming across this quote, I always did things that I knew that I would succeed in because, let’s face it, I hated failing. I didn’t want to do something that may cause me to appear stupid or challenge me mentally or physically so I played safe. When I lived like this, life was safe, but wasn’t overly stimulating.
I now very much live my life out in the open sea and sometimes it is terrifying, but it is so incredibly rewarding. I took a leap of faith with #BrewEdFindYourVoice and it worked! The day consisted of phenomenal speakers and an outstanding panel discussion about ‘Representation in Education’ (there will be another post about that). I only messed up the controls twice (because I forgot to click play audio) but other than that I managed and in 8 hours, two tiny hiccups are fine I think! If you missed it, you can watch it here –
There is also a padlet that goes with it –
As we go into this new school year, where there are so many variables and unknowns, my advice to you is don’t remain in harbour. If you have an idea – share it, if you want your voice heard – start using it, if you want to see change – become a change-maker. What do you really want to achieve? Go on, really dream! What do you want to achieve more than anything else? Well, start planning now how you can do it!
Through my podcast, through Twitter and through #BrewEdFindYourVoice I have met inspirational people who are doing just that. They aren’t remaining in harbour, they too are out there sailing on the choppy water of open sea, but gosh are they happy. Just remember, if you want to achieve something you can. With the right amount of planning and perseverance anything is possible. Let me remind you of one of my favourite quotes…
SO START SAILING NOW