Busyness and Business

My DSLR shots- S Charlesworth

I’m getting back to more core business, I’m finding my way back to school. If I’m honest, I’m struggling a little bit without my Canadian entourage,
and it’s no surprise I’m pretty exhausted after months of planning and prep, and a fantastic few weeks hanging out with and learning from the Couros Boys
and my local PLN friends.

In my exhaustion, I have found myself sitting down a lot more than usual. This has been accidently awesome. I have found so much joy in being able to spend more time with my students over the past few days.  I always love hanging out with my girls, they are why I am here, and for that notion, I feel pretty selfish. I always feel as if I get more out of this interaction. As I was sitting with a group of girls who got to know the boys pretty well today, and I loved hearing their reflections and stories as I wrap up the formalities of coordinating RavoTIES. As I have been so many times before, I again found myself lost in the pure joy of spending time with students; so full of positivity, optimism and the possibility of the future ahead of them.  Reflecting on the week past, that’s what really got us there in the first place!

Every sandcastle in the sky that ended up with foundations underneath started with an idea, a bit of hope and optimism to see it through.  Optimism is a really important value and attitude for me.  But it’s amazing how people often couple optimism with naivety. Optimism has seen me through sticky situations, tough days, and has become a key element in how I approach kids and colleagues.

“hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favourable or hopeful view.”

In that moment, when I was sitting on the ground enjoying a sunny spring lunch with these great young people, a few things became a little more clear;


  • While optimism has its eyes set firmly on the future, it is grounded in the present and focused on human relationships for it to grow.
  • Optimism needs time and space to grow and be. Busyness is not a badge of honour. It is far more courageous and meaningful to
    be in the moment.
  • Time spent with people is the only thing that matters and this leads to the most utterly extraordinary things in your life.


I remember saying to myself this week;. “Don’t miss this…slow down and take in everything because
this is going to be amazing!” I have such vivid memories of this week, like watching a movie in slow motion. It was by far the best attitude I could have adopted. I was conscious; I lived each day with intent. As a result, it is plastered in my mind forever.  I was looking at the beautiful, huge tree that minds our park across the road from my house this afternoon. It’s so green and wonderful. It made me a little sad, because last time I looked at this tree, the pride of our street, it was winter bare, only just gaining its spring foliage. I then thought about the last time I did something I enjoy so dearly; walking slowly along the street and viewing it through my DSLR, taking beautiful photos of flowers in bloom, dogs in the park or busy insects buzzing around, like the photo at the top of this post. I can’t remember the last time. It made my heart hurt.  It served as a pretty concrete reminder that things change rapidly before us, and we can miss things if we aren’t careful. (I will make sure I don’t miss this, follow and check my progress The Tree on the street where I live)

Each day, we need to live with intent, in the moment, yet with that optimistic mindset that leads to such amazing things. A bit of a ‘let’s do this and then see how it went’ mentality goes a long way to get things done! It’s a balancing act I am yet to perfect.

I went into a few meetings, as we do in schools, to ensure the operationally things are on track.  I work with one of the most wonderful leaders I have ever come across, and she gave me the best directive as we approach the end of term; “now, go and be with your girls…”

So I walked down to the courts, where my year 9 girls were enjoying a rollerblading lesson, and I sat and watched as they laughed, screamed and generally had a great time together.  As a student came wheeling towards me ‘catch me Mrs C!’ and we both nearly fell over in a fit of giggles, she said something
we don’t hear much in school but should hear every day… “today is such a good day, I’m having so much fun” . Schools are busy places, and it’s easy to navel
gaze in the rush and get overwhelmed.  But what is easier again, and a far better use of time and energy we have is to get back to school, get back to the core of what matters; the students. In this way, we can get back to being ourselves.