What happens when you have a crazy idea to raise some money
In January this year, I decided I wanted to set myself a challenge and at the same time support a troop I have belonged to for over a third of my life.
Over recent years, teachers have seen their careers fall victim to pay freezes, changes in curriculum, overwhelming workloads and a shifting nature of the job. The role has been raised by the HSE to the 4th most stressful job in the UK and at the same time, teachers have seen a decline in support.
Now teachers are facing not only the pandemic of Covid-19, but also the increasing pressure from the government and press to go back to work in an unsafe environment. Teachers already push themselves above and beyond which many fail to recognise.
May 17th, just before Mental Health Week 2020, should have seen this challenge completed, however, I have changed the date to September 26th-27th, which will be a nice birthday present for me.
If restrictions last longer due to Covid-19, I will reschedule for next year, but this will happen.
Don't forget to follow my adventure on Instagram using #barefoot3peaks or @Rebel.educationist
If you want to carry on reading about why this crazy challenge came about, great stuff......... but before you crack on, why not throw caution to the wind, put your hand in your digital pocket and press donate,
even if it's just a couple quid, the price of a coffee (which you have saved...sorry Costa)
But ... Just ... Why?
Why me, why this challenge...
After suffering teacher burn out in recent years, I know all too well of sinking into that dark place inside without knowing where to turn and where to get support. I allowed my own mental and physical health to suffer. I struggled in silence with stress, anxiety and depression. It took a long time to come to terms with being able to voice this, but I hope it helps other teachers out there find strength to speak.
My aim in life now is to help teachers rediscover their life beyond the classroom so that they can live intentionally and continue to lead others.
This challenge is not only about my own resilience but the resilience of the troop of teachers on so many levels.
I hope you will help through spreading the word (and donating of course), but I hope it inspires and supports staff suffering with any mental health issues in schools to speak up and understand struggling is not weakness. You are not alone, looking after your wellness is paramount and it will be passed on to our kids as a result.
Most people think I am a little crazy, a few people have said it can't be done, so I thought I would make it my adventure and challenge to prove them wrong. I am someone that likes to do something a little bit different. Always one to buck a trend or do something out of the social norm, but when someone tells me I can't do something, I work damn hard to make sure I can.
I left the institution but not the passion, education is still a huge part of my life. Now I focus on self-education believing we all have every resource we need, or we are able to create it.
When I ask kids who taught them to walk, they always say mum or dad or grandparents. They are always surprised when I tell them they are only partially right. They taught themselves how to walk by modelling all of the adults in their life. This learning never stops.
Whether you have a PGCE, BEd or none at all and you are a parent or grandparent, you are all teachers and leaders.
The word education has Latin roots 'educere' - 'to bring out, to lead'. We are all leaders in some way. The behaviours we exhibit are always on show, whether we realise it or not.
When I see staff off work with stress, I worry how long that person has suffered before having to make that call. I'm worried about the impact it has on our children's unwritten education. The one they learn from our behaviours, our choice of words and our interactions and communication with others.
Every penny is support for a colleague.
Life is an adventure. We have become so accustomed to living life in the comfort zone that we forget nothing is certain and we must learn to take risks.
It is well documented how being outside in nature can aid in the fight against depression and anxiety, and I thought what could be better grounding for me than to do it barefoot and hopefully raise some awareness and money along the way for a very worthy cause.
The three peaks challenge is an adventure many people know of, and it is a challenge many people have done. It consists of the three biggest mountains in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon). Over 3000 metres of ascent and 36km in total.
Dont forget to follow my adventure on Instagram using #barefoot3peaks or @Rebel.educationist
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page and more so for donating.
Take a good look in the mirror and say well done for supporting a good cause.
Maybe you want to come join me on one of the mountains, I truly hope you do (don't worry you don't have to go barefoot).