We’re all survivors…

My favorite jam at the moment:

I’ve been a fan of Smashproof since their release of their massive NZ hit “Brother” and when this latest release hit Facebook I was really interested to watch it as it was filmed at my old intermediate school. One of the teachers is now the principal and features in the video too. I didn’t expect the song to hit me as hard as it did – it has a powerful message that I think speaks to me both personally and as an educator.

The two children featured in the song are both overcoming massive hurdles to become successful and functional human beings. I saw this time and time again in my teaching career – students fighting, sometimes against the odds, to try and reach their potential. The boy who worked all weekend to pay the boarding costs at the school to support his rugby training. The girl trying to shake the small-town reputation of her brother dying in a drug-related incident. The boy that you’d rather have in your class stoned than on the streets with his gang family encouraging him to commit crimes. Broken families, broken hearts, broken kids who actually didn’t understand that drinking before school wasn’t normal because everyone in their family did it.

As a teacher, it is unbearably hard when you “lose” one… when despite the support you give and set up around the student, it doesn’t work. The student gets suspended, excluded… and you don’t ever really find out whether they survived, although you hope they do. But what keeps you going is those kids that go “Hell yeah! I’m going to seize this opportunity I’ve been given and thrive”. The kids that break the cycle. The kids that you know, in the end, will be alright.

Because after all, isn’t that what surviving is about? Being alright in the end. It would be very false of me to present a view of my life that was all Instagrammy/Pinteresty perfect and I certainly hope that you’ve seen that honesty in my posts on being a mum. My past, while not plastered all over the internet, was certainly not easy to survive. I’ve come out the other end stronger, more capable of advocating for my own rights, more compassionate towards the needs of others and more than alright, really.

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