Hi, I'm Alison!
Though lots of my favourite people have known me as Miss Bird...
I love being a teacher! I get to be a rockstar in the playground and a superhero when I influence young lives for the better.
And like many of you, I found that teaching wasn’t necessarily what I thought – and hoped – it would be. I knew there’d be challenges, like in any work, but a few years into it I found myself becoming more and more disillusioned with the job. And I say job, because it really felt like that. There wasn’t as much joy as there once was, and I found myself getting burnt out.
I tried moving away from the city and while there were many benefits, I still found teachers and other school staff members to be incredibly stressed out and under pressure. Duh, right? We know that because the research says it. We know that because the media reports that. We know that because the politicians discuss it. And mostly we know it from experience.
There was a point for me a few years ago when I really recognised that I didn’t want to be a worn-out, irritable teacher – let alone a worn-out, irritable person! I didn’t want to struggle through the term only to get sick in the holidays. It was at a similar time that I also had a challenging class and felt a lack of support from the school I was in. So I started making time to look after myself properly – practising mindfulness daily, going for a walk before or after school, not taking work home, eating better.
A few gems from the vault! Never thought I'd end up showing these publicly!
Quickly life became a lot richer, and so did my teaching. My connections with students became even stronger and more authentic. Despite getting up a bit earlier to fit in a mindful awareness practice or a walk, I had more energy. I felt less worried about my teaching practice. And I was able to communicate better with my colleagues.
Not long after that, I completed my yoga teacher training in India. When I returned to Australia and went back to the classroom, I realised from a new perspective and with urgency, just how stressed out many teachers are, and how they’re missing out on the fullness of life as they continue to carry the burden of educating our children and young people in challenging conditions.
And I realised that I was in the perfect position to help – to serve you, the teaching community.
It's really important that students are supported in their wellbeing needs. And it's important that teachers are happier, healthier and more mindful than ever as they impart these skills to their students.
I guide teachers to the best version of themselves through online and face-to-face professional learning. By providing information and practical resources to build health, wellbeing and mindfulness in my colleagues, I've never found teaching more satisfying!