There is a daily writing challenge gaining traction in the #edutwitter community, and this is my first step into it. 500 words maximum, on the given topic – today, it’s Growth.
Considering I’m in a profession that’s all about encouraging growth in others and constantly finding growth in oneself, plus I’ve done a hell of a lot of growing to reach the point of being an NQT, this entry really shouldn’t be so difficult!
When I searched for growth quotes (because when in doubt, find a nice quote!) that was when I realised my direction for this post.
In this period of lockdown, there seems to be an immense pressure for people to grow. Everywhere you look, there are examples of people learning languages, gaining new skills, increasing their fitness, reading books they’ve always felt they ‘should.’ And as a teacher, of course I advocate this kind of growth. But when the world is upside down, I don’t advocate it if it’s not what you want.
It’s all well and good to be peer-pressured into learning, but I don’t think the kind of growth that feels good, or the kind that sticks, can come from any kind of pressure.
Besides, what about if lockdown has knocked you for six? It intimidated me hugely at first, and it took about a week to get past that and access any part of my brain that would allow me to grow. Lots of people are still struggling, and that’s fine too. I think it’s very possible that under these circumstances, ‘growth’ could mean ‘the act of remaining true to yourself despite the challenges and changes of the world around you.’ Learning to be yourself again, when nothing else has stayed the same, is epically difficult.
So if your growth is mastering the cello, then great, go for it! If your growth is reading a few extra pages per day, so be it. But if your growth is getting up each day, changing your pyjamas and remembering to put the bins out when you’ve no idea what day it is? Then grow, and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not.
A willow tree has no less beauty than a dandelion clock – they simply grew differently.