In this week’s House assemblies, Mrs Rudge has very kindly recommended to students that they read my monthly blog.  It is thus only fair for me to reciprocate by sharing with you the theme from those assemblies, but perhaps adding a few thoughts of my own.

Both Mrs Rudge and I were fortunate enough to attend the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s annual conference at the ICC in Birmingham recently.  Entitled “Seizing Success”,  there was a diversity of speakers from a range of educational contexts conveying both practical advice and inspirational messages.  We both found none more inspiring than Jim Lawless, author of “Taming Tigers”.  A quick search on the Internet and YouTube will provide those of you who haven’t heard of him (I hadn’t either) with a brief summary of his achievements and his message.

In “Taming Tigers”, Jim describes the roar of self-doubt that inhibits us in life from being who we could become, achieving the things we could do, realising the goals we could aspire to.  The “Tiger” is the pin-prick of the party balloon, the rain on our parade.  It is what prevents us from daring to dream.  In a very warm and engaging manner, Jim shares his Ten Rules for Taming Tigers – simple to understand but not so simple to put into practice!  You can find them here: Taming Tigers Website  He holds a view that we all share here at John Taylor:  that individuals are amazing, and can achieve great things when they apply and commit themselves.   “We believe in the power of education to improve lives – and the world.”

My last blog didn’t refer to ‘amazing’ things.  My running will never be described as that!  However, I have followed Jim Lawless’ Rule #1 “Act Boldly Today – time is limited” by signing up for the forthcoming 10K run in The National Forest in September (to coincide with the first term as a National Teaching School and centre of “The National Forest Teaching School Alliance”).  I look at the athletes in the promotional photographs, and read the course record times, and my Tiger roars loudly!  But I have every intention of improving on where I am now.  To paraphrase Aesop’s Fable of The Hare and The Tortoise, “slow and steady… will see me finish!”  My intention is to try and raise some funds towards a new school minibus (in conjunction with other activities via School Council) – more of that to follow in the next “JT News”.

Heaven knows how they come up with such a statistic, but it is estimated that we all have 124,000 decisions to make in our lifetime.  Young people have more of these decisions ahead of them than behind them.  We can all look at defining moments in our lives when a ‘big’ decision really mattered.  How many of them were made by the “Tiger” in us?  How much happier may we be, and how much better a world we may have if, as Jim Lawless compels us to do, we ourselves wrote the story of our own lives.

Thanks for reading.

M Donoghue

Posted by JTMAT