I Choose Courage

Resilience is getting up and going again when you hit a brick wall.

Determination is getting up and going again when you feel like no one is listening.
Courage is when you find the strength to continue to battle for something you believe in so strongly it hurts.

A positive outlook is telling yourself this is a roadblock that will lead to bigger and brighter things.
A growth mindset is telling yourself we will get through this.

Perspective is telling yourself maybe you haven’t considered things from a different point of view and then altering the direction you look from. Maybe, you have only been given part of the picture?
I am a self-confessed, self-motivated, readaholic, learnaholic, facilitationaholic, helpaholic, giveaholic and workaholic when it comes to ensuring that all dyslexic children in New Zealand have the right to receive evidence-based instruction in literacy. I am not even sure all of those things are titled as such?

I have a dream. That dream is that one day we will look back and we will say how proud we are of how we influenced positively the movement of evidence-based literacy education across our country. I dream that every child and every teacher will experience true joy when they learn or teach literacy with confidence and empowerment.

To be literate is to live. To be literate is to have every opportunity. To be literate is a human right.
Over the past 48 hours, I have had to dig deep like never before in my professional career. With the release of some so-called new initiatives has come feelings of disbelief and immense disappointment. Tears have streamed down my face, the language has been foul and the knot in my stomach sickening. I have truly felt as if we were at the end of the road. I had previously felt like we were on the brink of achieving a breakthrough for our children who find literacy acquisition hard, as well as the teachers who teach them. Many of you, will have felt this disbelief and disappointment too.

We have a choice.

We can dwell on what we disagree with. We can curl up in a ball and we can speak ill of decisions that have been made, or we can hold our heads high, be proud of the difference we are making and show all of the qualities I have listed above.

To advocate for our children is our right. To be heard is our right. To walk alongside and have others respect our knowledge, experience and perspective require trust and integrity.

I am choosing courage over comfort. Truth over mistruths. I will continue to be the advocate and go-to expert for many (parents, teachers, and school leaders) in this field across the country, by standing tall from a platform of vulnerability and integrity.

No more being disappointed, no more time wasted on social media posts that will not support our cause. Instead, a growing heart of hope, determination, drive, willingness and passion to keep going. My hope is that one day very soon this positive outlook and a mountain of knowledge and experience will ensure that we get in front of the necessary people (again) and that this time they will listen. Those very people who are charged with determining and enabling the destiny of our literate children and society.

We are on the brink of achieving a breakthrough for our children who find literacy acquisition hard. We have got this.

Kia Kaha all of you amazing people out there, who, like me, give this space everything you have. Your strength, courage, and mana are felt. XX


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