Mrs Ashton's Thought for the Term: CouragePosted on: 24/06/2022
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
As a child I was obsessed with dance. Several evenings a week, you’d find me tapping or pirouetting across a village hall: focusing on the slow mastery of intricate new steps. I’d hum the music between lessons at school and tap out rhythms across the supermarket aisle.
I loved it; I was good at it. But bizarrely, I hid it.
I never spoke about the dances I’d completed; the competitions I’d been in, or the examinations I’d passed. In what seems like a curious decision now, 10-year-old me kept this important part of who I was and what I loved separate. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but maybe part of it was that I didn’t know anyone else who danced and I was afraid of lifting my head above the parapet: cautious about what others might say.
Thinking back, it makes me even more impressed by our students who on a daily basis have the courage to stand up and speak proudly about their passions, opinions and viewpoints. Our school values make this possible: a culture of inclusion and respect means that diverse experiences and talents are actively encouraged. I’m always impressed by students who take it upon themselves to launch initiatives, start clubs and put themselves forward: further evidence that our students are the future change makers we need.
The poet E.E.Cummings tells us that “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” and two years later, when I put my name down to tap dance in a House Evening, courage is exactly what I needed to help me put pen to paper. And it was the best decision I could have made.
Associate Director of Education, Assistant Headteacher T&L and CPD
Didcot Girls' School