Don’t wait until you retire to start that hobby you have always wanted to take up…

Whenever older staff are retiring, or the conversation of not working comes up, I am instantly one to put my hand up to say I 100% would be OK with doing this now. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, but the idea of not working and being able to take up all of the hobbies I dream of doing sounds great to me!

But here’s the thing, why wait until I retire to do the things I want to do?The Teachers' Coach

I have been a bit up and down lately (let’s just blame this on normal work and life stress) and when working with my coach (because we should all have one), she asked me what I do for creativity, as an expression of me, where my juices flow… well, nothing really, I thought.

To be honest this shocked me. I am someone who loves being creative and crafty, I always took an art class at school and I love to doodle and draw my way through meetings and PL. What I realised though, is that I have absolutely let this part of me go, or rather, put on hold.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, just something that has happened over time, as life got busy, routine took over, along with longer work hours and trying to balance everything out, my creative outlets have completely disappeared.

Growing up you would find me in my room after school dabbling in all kinds of things; jewellery making, drawing, sewing, baking, knitting, painting… I even painted a giant sun mural on my wall when I was about 15.

Now though, I just don’t do anything. I have tried a few times to get back into it, but this more often than not results in me taking some kind of class, buying all the resources to do this at home, where unfortunately the items just become dust collectors and never reach their full potential.

I have a cupboard full of silicone bakeware from the time I was going to take up vegan baking, a selection of rope from the time I did a macramé class and was going to make something extravagant for my wall, and a bag of stones I collected from the beach from the time I was going to make some stone art for family, and this is all in the last 18 months.

I think I need a hobby!

I mean, I actually need to take up and do one of the hobbies I have started…
I don’t need to wait until I retire to take these things up, what I need to do is make them part of my weekly routine NOW!

I am aware of all the great things having a hobby can do for you, yet for some reason, I think these don’t apply to me. I am wrong though. I need a creative outlet just as much as you do.

So here I am committing to taking up macramé and stone art (I’ll leave the baking this time). Watch this space, there are some cool things coming your way soon!!!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAY SAFE – LESSONS SOMETIMES FAIL….

Not all lessons go to plan.

I know – you spend hours  trying to plan that perfect lesson, getting the right resources, making sure students will learn but have fun too, making it accessible for all students – and then, it just doesn’t work. The plan fails. The students don’t like it, it wasn’t as fun as you had hoped, not all students could access the learning. Well…. this happens. To all teachers. And it is totally OK.

Sometimes our lessons don’t go to plan, but it doesn’t mean it is a total disaster, or that you failed or that nothing was learnt.

When this happens, it is up to you to make it meaningful, to ask what you can learn from it, to ask the students what they learnt, and this might not be just academic.

When this happens, the best thing to do is stop. Actually stop the lesson. Tell the students you can see this isn’t working and stop. Talk to them. Make a plan together, try again together.

There is always an opportunity to learn from the fail.

Somewhere along the way, we lose our desire to innovate, take risks and possibly fail. As teachers we want our students to succeed, which means we too want to succeed. This often looks like predictable lessons, safe lessons and lessons we know the ending to.

There is no dreaming here.

So next time you plan a lesson – DREAM BIG.
What’s the worst that can happen? ….you will only fail.