The Teacher Collection
I have a soft spot for those people who have it a bit tougher in life. The fighters. The ones that are too easily judged by physical
appearances and stigmatised by their behaviours. We all have our challenges, but I really feel for those who have the odds stacked against them from the moment they are born. I’m a teacher because I believe in these kids.
I didn’t believe in myself during my graduate year of teaching. In a school of 70-odd kids in central Victoria, I struggled. I hid it very well. I made all the Pinterest resources. Hours of them. Laminated and cut to perfection. I was so overwhelmed with the idea of teaching I just busied myself reinventing the wheel. I would leave forschool before sun up and arrive home just in time to have something to eat before I went to bed. There was noweekend-Saturday and Sunday were days spent planning for the week ahead.
My colleagues at that school have become close friends and in the two years I was there, I found my feet. I was exhausted and burnt out, but I was beginning to find a rhythm. Nobody understands exactly how many hats a teacher wears until they've worked in a rural school. The sense of community is infectious and the attitude is laid back. That doesn’t mean the families expect anything less than high quality instruction. Just different. Unless I had a break, I was going to be a statistic. The 1 in 5 who leave teaching within their first two years. My partner (now husband) and I took a year off to travel around Australia. We spent a few weeks in each major town, where I would CRT, and then we would move on. I got to experience so many different schools as well as stand In awe of some spectacular country. The year off turned into two as we made the move up North for twelve months.
It was during my travelling that the idea for The Teacher Collection began to grow. I wanted something that could help me on those days when it was just all too much. On those days that left me wondering if this was the right path for me. A space where I could be boosted up and reinvigorated, fueled with motivation and ready to bounce back at it. I also wanted it to be a strategy I could use before seeking help from colleagues. Coming from that space of a small rural school, I know that country teachers take multitasking to a whole new level, so I was conscious of not adding my challenges to their workload. I’m an overthinker and spend a lot of time reflecting and ruminating in my head, so I knew a quote and affirmation based concept would work best for me. I also like the idea of being able to create a ‘gentle’ space on my desk for them. A space that I knew I could look to in time of support and where I knew that it would be given. For me, words have immense power and it was a long process of selecting which quotes and affirmation would be included in The Teacher Collection.
I call The Teacher Collection my ‘Passion Project’ because it brings me so much joy. As I wrap each order, I think about how their new owner will use the cards. I think about where they might be placed in their classroom and I smile knowing how much they will be used. It’s so much more than making a sale. It’s creating a support network to strengthen emotional and mental wellbeing within our teachers. I’m here to share what I know and strengthen my knowledge along the way.
WHAT LILLIAN LOVES ABOUT BEING A
I love the country. The community is just so
supportive and they are just so willing to get around
anybody who wants to give it a go - you almost feel like you can’t fail. Whatever you do you are bringing joy and you are helping out one person and I really try to keep that in my mind. It is not for me - it is about helping that one teacher at that small little rural school of seventy kids who is doing it really tough.