#PledgeforChange20 #WomenEd #DGMeet

by Naomi Ward @naomi7444

I need to look back to look forward. The last two years have been about clarifying values and purpose, then exploring what those mean in my life after teaching.
This year is about habits, consistency and discipline. Doesn’t sound that inspiring right, and yet, this is what’s needed to build on hard-won foundations.

The word ‘discipline,’ derives from ‘disciple,’ – ‘to follow or adhere to doctrine.’ To me this means that I am a follower of my values and purpose, and will learn as I walk where they guide me.
I was struck by this image on Twitter recently; I have a purpose and am also aware of the distractions that are in my way; imposed by roles as well as the obstacles I like to put in my way: distraction, fear, resentment, poor prioritisation, other people’s requests, ‘urgency.’ How important is my mission? Is it important enough to use my time wisely? Yes. Is it something I’m willing to drop? Hell no.

Race cartoon


So I #pledge to say no and be clearer on my boundaries. Truth be told, I’m slightly bedazzled by people who say no with conviction and grace – it takes strength. Do it, because it means you create time and if done well, it earns respect and is contagious. I also #pledge not to resent other roles I have and perceive to be getting in the way. After twelve years of parenting, it can be easy to resent the constant demands and bickering (hello Christmas holidays!). That’s why, when choosing discipline in alignment to my purpose and values, it’s worth looking through the lens of each role I inhabit for the opportunity to deepen my learning. I’ve stolen this exercise from Covey’s ‘Seven Habits.’

My core values are growth, courage and connection. My purpose is to walk a winding path with people as they uncover their values and purpose, take a stand for them, then come home to live their lives in alignment with who they are and what they are called to do.

What does this mean for my roles?

Mum – I’m attentive to the differences in my children and celebrate their individuality, creating space for them to express who they are.

Friend – I’m proactive about being in touch with friends and not taking them for granted – I listen.

Wife – I challenge the roles we habitually fall into, ask for help and ask what support he needs.

Daughter – To meet my parents where they are and be with difficult emotions so that I am present.

Coach – To create a rare space where people slow down, stop and see what truly matters.

Sports coach – To support young people to be physically and mentally fit, to love being active and together.

Community leader – To collaboratively create a space where we ask big questions about what we want from life and communally create the conditions where people are bolder and support each other wholeheartedly.

Mentor – Be there in the busy school day for young people to be heard without judgement. To play and have a laugh.

Governor – To be part of a diverse group which is working within constraints to improve young people’s experience of school.

Learner – To block out time to read, reflect, write; to invest in learning that helps me to grow.

By articulating my values and purpose, my many roles have a chance of congruence rather than dissonance.

I #pledge to have a better relationship with all of my roles. I #pledge to have a better relationship with the moment. I #pledge to be disciplined. I #pledge to create my vision. I #pledge to create my life.

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