Those who know me will be well aware of my love of all things sport. I'm a traditionalist and my passion for everything remotely cricket or AFL related knows no bounds.
As such, I watched the events surrounding the unfortunate passing of Jim Stynes in this last week with interest ... and with the occasional tear in my eye. There were some incredibly heart-warming tributes paid to Jim and his is surely the most remarkable story to be told in his game.
I attended Reach
events twice and was amazed at Jim's ability to enrapture an enormous audience of young people who, in other circumstances, might have been climbing the walls. He had a gift.
Of all that I heard and saw, the one that rang most true was a quote from Jim himself just a few months ago. Jim spoke of how cancer had been good for him
and that it had revealed to him what was truly important. He had then stripped back his loaded diary to include more time for his wife, for his kids and for the elements of his work that were closest to his heart.
In education, we shouldn't need cancer to wake us up to this. Coming towards to end of a term, it's easy to get stuck in unproductive patterns. Being grumpy with the kids, failing to connect with colleagues over lunch, neglecting to provide a gentle word to somebody in tough times, sticking to classroom relationship building exercises, etc etc.
Jim's story is a poignant reminder for educators. When your passing comes, will you wish you'd done more photo copying, more bitching about your colleagues, more desk tidying, more ticking off of students? I doubt it. What is it that's important in your work?
How can you bring that to the fore like there's no tomorrow - because sometimes there isn't one.
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