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  • Writer's pictureKaren Caswell

Personal Growth, Perseverance and a PIRATE Philosophy Pay Off!

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

Today the sea was calm, the sky was blue and the sun was shining as I sailed into a port I had been seeking on my voyage for a number of years. Today I found out I had been successful in securing the position of Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator at my school! I am super excited for the new opportunities this will present, delighted that I have achieved something I have worked so hard for, but most of all I am extremely proud of my journey and where it has taken me.

On this journey I have definitely sailed though many storms. I’ve experienced, and overcome, depression, discontent, disappointment after disappointment, disillusionment, and doubt. And whilst these challenges certainly tested me (often more than I would have liked), and it would have been so easy to give in at times, I never let any of them defeat me. Nor have I let them define me!

I must admit I often wondered if I was banging my head against a brick wall. I wondered if it was all worth it. No one likes to be rejected, and I struggle with the fear of rejection on a regular basis (you can read about how I let it impact me in my blog post ‘What are you afraid of?’), yet I continued to open myself up to it. Isn’t there a quote which says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (which, by the way, Albert Einstein did not say). I began to wonder if that was me. Was I doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? But then I realised I wasn’t doing the exact same thing over and over. While applying for positions at my school, with the same group of people who had previously ‘rejected me’, was the same, there was one major difference each and every time – and that difference was me. I wasn’t the same person who applied over and over. I reflected. I learned. I grew. I connected. I shared. I developed a Professional Learning Network. I became a PIRATE! All of these factors ensured the person who applied for the previous position, and the one before that, and the one before that (and so on) was most decidedly not the person who applied for this position. Where I’d crashed on the reef in the past, I was now able to successfully navigate the hidden dangers, and even appreciate the beauty below the surface.

The person who applied for this position had discovered, and learned to accept and love, her authentic self. The person who applied for this position was strong and determined, and believed in herself. The person who applied for this position had rediscovered her passions! And the person who applied for this position finally allowed her true self to shine through, and all of the hard work, self-analysis, and personal and professional growth paid off. I couldn’t be happier! As an added bonus, I still get to spend one day a week with my class, so the 4K Kindness Crew can continue our journey together.

As I begin the next stage of my voyage, I would like to sincerely thank those who have sailed with me so far. Thank you for helping me, or bluntly directing me, to get back up when I fell. Thank you for telling me to stop overthinking. Thank you for your inspiration, your encouragement, your support, your advice and your belief in me. Most of all, thank you for simply being you. I hope you’ll remain on board with me!


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