This is a safety announcement…


If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.


I’ve been travelling quite a lot over the past year. There is no doubt it is the most amazing thing any human can do; travel, see other parts of the world, and meet new people. With the excitement comes the exhaustion. Not only have I travelled for work, I have also moved my life to, quite possibly literally the other side of the world…and then packed up and travelled back again. What an utterly extraordinary year.

My whole perspective on teaching, and of life, has been moved this year. What a gift. Cementing ties with brilliant minds from my local PLN, thinking deeply about what it is I value in education, and getting to know my own strengths (and weaknesses) much better.

Here’s my big take away; nobody will look after you if you don’t give yourself that respect.

As educators, and leaders, we always are on the lookout for others; the kids in our care, our valued PLN, our family. But at the end of the day, how can we look after others if we don’t first look after ourself?

I’m so proud to be part of this profession of people who give their whole guts and soul to others. Everyday, I am overwhelmed by the love and generosity of gifted professionals, and preservice teachers eager to do the very best they can for kids.

I have had the immense delight of hanging out with Dan Haesler, wellbeing guru in my current role at PLANE. Dan speaks of student wellbeing and the need for us to put the concept of ‘wellness’ at the forefront, if it is excellence in schools we are after. It’s quite simple when we get to the core of it. Maslow built this into the hierarchy of needs; we need to be well before be can be brilliant.

So why do we push through? Why do teachers wait for school holidays to visit the doctor? Why do we unrealistically put everyone and everything before our own health? I see too many teachers give up their own wellbeing, like a candle lit at both ends.

We need to stop the glorification of busy, and model what being well means for our young people. Perhaps it’s the time I have taken out this term to essentially stop and reflect, or maybe it’s listening to well over 20 aircraft safety briefings; all reminding me that in order to be of any use to others in a crisis, I need to make sure I have taken care of myself first.


Summer Howarth

I'm driven by student engagement, by working with people who are invested in a notion that we need to work together to shape an education worth having for all young people. I am on fire with ideas; shaped by the people I've met and work with, the possibility of education and a future of what the teaching profession could be. I am deeply passionate in advocacy for Middle Schooling and young people, directing my energies to causes promoting the efficacy of the teaching profession through strengthening the experiences of learners; influencing students and student teachers. When I am able to personally connect with people from my online Professional Learning Network (PLN) I am further inspired to learn more, think widely and dream up better things for students. Currently working with teachers and stakeholder from across Australia and colleagues at The Innovation Unit on Learning Frontiers. #lovingit. Continue the conversation on Twitter; @EduSum


  1. After attending both of Dan’s presentations @ the Plane FOL, I’ve been thinking more about how I can support the welfare of my staff and students. Thanks for reminding me about me :)

  2. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this resonates with me right now. Ok is not ok … sigh. I need to heart get it though, rather than just head getting it … Does that even make sense? :-)

  3. It does, Tamara! This is such a hard time of year, hugely emotional all round. I know I’m in a different position, but I get it! With your heart and head, you’ll do awesome things this term!

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