‘Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone’ describes much of what we do in school
‘Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone’ can be something of a tired old trope, but it does describe much of what we do in school. This does not just concern the children, although we are constantly trying to create challenges for them, it applies to the staff as well.
Mr Rahman and I confirmed this on Monday as we led a Year 6 collaboration project involving Portsmouth, Putney and South Hampstead High Schools. It was somewhat daunting to present online to one hundred and twenty pupils, eight teachers, two junior heads and a deputy director from the GDST. To make it more nerve wracking, I had set up all of the meetings so that everyone could join from their home or school. As a first attempt at digital cross-school working, I was not convinced that it would be effective but was working on the premise that if you do not try then you will not know. There were a few issues, mainly technical, but these were minor and the most important element, the girls working with those from another school, got them incredibly excited. We are now looking forward to the continuation of the project next week.
In the same spirit, as part of the GDST Get Active campaign, I have been cycling to work this week and hope to continue to do so. I am usually something of a fair weather cyclist and will wait until the sun is shining before hopping on my bike. Pushing myself to pedal through the rain and wind has not always been pleasant, but it has made me feel good both mentally and physically. The pupils and staff have also been exploring ways to stay positive during this, our wellbeing week, which has taken place across the school. I have been interested in all of the different ideas and motivational comments that have been put forward.
I did not need to do the activities mentioned in this article. There was no driver behind the collaboration project apart from the desire to provide pupils from across the Trust with something exciting. If I had not taken my bike out of the garage I would have still been able to get to work. But the children and their continual displays of intrinsic motivation should inspire all of us to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones.