I have always done the right thing.
Everything that was expected of a clever, middle-class girl. From school, to university, to a job as a teacher.
I was promoted to Principal at the age of 27 and set about establishing myself as a thought leader in my field. I wore suits and took myself very seriously. Ten years later I was Principal of a large Special School.
Yet, I have a personality that delights in everything new and different, pushing the boundaries whenever I can. It’s not always easy to challenge the inertia of a large government institution so I became expert in complying with the rules and doing my own thing, in my own school, where no one was watching (or cared about what we were doing!) We created an amazing school, supporting students with the most complex physical, medical and behavioral disabilities.
Put passion, purpose and a desire for recognition in a bottle for too long and eventually it explodes.
The students were challenging, the staff were exhausted and their leader – me – was drowning. One child took us to the brink, his behavior was beyond extreme and he was in a class with other unique, difficult and vulnerable students. Everyone was broken and hurting.
The system patted us on the head and said “There, there, you have to expect this in your type of school.”
One afternoon we sat together as a team brainstorming options to this untenable situation. I could think of only two; everyone goes back into the classroom and gets on with it or everyone takes workers compensation leave for the injuries they had.
As I listed these options a third one came to mind.
“OR”, I said “I could leave and someone could ring the Director and tell them that the Principal has resigned.”
So I did. I walked out that very day and never went back.
(Although I have always worried that I abandoned the staff and student I know that the extra resources they so desperately needed DID arrive as the result of my actions.)
Probably shouldn’t have done that!
Goodbye to $100,000 dollars a year, paid holidays, government superannuation.
Hello to a new life and new businesses where I support leaders and women to thrive.
While I don’t recommend the same radical approach I took, I believe that if you stay in the same room the same doors will open. If real change is needed in your life,
sometimes you have to step off a cliff and trust that your skills, knowledge and experience will be your parachute.
Director of Joy and Innovation
Why are we doing this thing? Because there’s enough noise in the world telling women what we ‘should’ be doing.
We should parent more consciously, but not be helicopter parents. We should take care of our bodies, but not be vain. We should make boys pay, but demand equal rights. We should dress appropriately, but also be confident in our skin, wear what we want, but not be provocative, oh and please feel comfortable in the world’s skimpiest school bathers but then wear your jeans to the formal because last year the boys looked up the girls’ skirts and so you’ll have to be the ones to modify your behaviour. Yeah. No.
We are a mother and daughter writing team who launched a platform for women 14 – 104. Women who need to read stories of daring. Women who need to write them.
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