I?ve always had a thirst for nurturing the soul and those of others. I would give anything a go if it meant I could develop myself in some way or another. That was very much the thread of my childhood. Self-discovery was very much the reason for taking a break from education. Travelling the world was on my agenda. Such beautiful diversity.
Upon my return I studied a degree in education with a focus in pastoral care, philosophy and meta-cognition. Bringing this into my teaching was invaluable to the young minds that I had the pleasure in teaching.
But it wasn?t until 11 years into my career that things took a change in my whole world. A dear friend took her own life. Unbeknown to anyone, she suffered in silence with her mental health. This rocked the very depths of my world. I struggled to detach from this in order to get on with life and I became critically aware of my role as a mother, as a wife and as a teacher. If this tragic event can happen to someone who was deemed so very strong, happy and content then, who else is masking how they are truly feeling? Who else is trying to cope with their daily lives?
I also felt a burning guilt; as a teacher, was I adding to the children?s stress, their need to be validated and a pressure to succeed? Was I fundamentally supporting their emotional and mental wellbeing?
Upon a lengthy reflection, I very much felt the answer was a big, juicy no. This was largely due to unrealistic educational expectations and targets for most, and, institutionalised behavioural conditioning which, was all down to the very structure and fabric of our education system. I had realised that I had gotten somewhat lost and was in a system that I very much did not agree with.
The next significant moment was a moment of synchronicity. I met a Tai Chi master who came to teach my class. We all embraced this lovely, new experience. It was then I realised the possibilities of Tai Chi and how it could tick all my boxes in relation to supporting children?s social, emotional, mental and personal wellbeing.
I am now a qualified Chi for Children, Qigong and Mindfulness instructor. I no longer teach as a class teacher but am on a journey of empowering young children to think and feel great through interactive, physical sessions to support their social. emotional, mental and personal wellbeing. Reaching out to schools across Somerset and Bath and North-East Somerset.
My programme is drawn from Tai Chi, Qigong, Mindfulness and meditation practices. I teach and train school staff across England. I also support schools on their journey to creating outstanding, empowering environments for children and staff.
Not only equipping children with life skills but supporting the wellness of staff within educational settings too.
So, this is where I want to be; making a difference, an empowering difference to young lives; to our next Generation. Generation Be.