I nearly gave up on my dream of becoming a teacher to be a gladiator instead.

I even had a name all sorted: WhirlWind

Only three things stood in my way. I had never been to a gym in my life, I was completely incapable of doing a backflip and they already had a female gladiator who was brown with big hair.

Granted that was one of my more ‘out there’ Plan Bs but I had a whole bucket load of them. See, I always doubted that I would make it. I mean, I couldn’t could I? Not me.

Even when things started to go well, in my more vulnerable moments, I’d examine every blessing and turn it into a potential disaster.

Resilience isn’t about having a stiff upper lip or being a doormat. It’s about choosing to see failure as another rung on the ladder to success and making that choice again and again, even when you don’t feel like it.

Here’s what happens when teachers hold a vision of success for learners before those learners are resilient enough to hold it for themselves.

They grow into that vision and become willing to exchange their own perception of reality for the possibility outlined by the teacher that changes their life.

Special thanks to Crown Publishing and Ty Goddard for allowing me to share my story.

As part of a new series of Education Britain Conversations, The Education Foundation is interviewing education leaders from across the UK education system. This interview is with Jaz Ampaw-Farr a teacher and speaker with a passion for tackling failure in literacy.

The Education Britain campaign focuses on celebration, ambition and inspiration. A desire to have a different conversation about education and to look to the future – to change our system so it is able to meet the major challenges, to identify what’s important and what’s working and to rediscover our national education treasures. For more information about The Education Foundation visit www.ednfoundation.org


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