Up until Easter this year I was spending a fair amount of time hiding under a rock. Then I took what felt like a huge risk and changed my #TMLondon keynote slides at the last minute. Instead of expectation and marking in literacy, I decided to go for it and be authentic.

As soon as I made the decision, the Vulnerability Vulture struck. Like ‘stading-in-my-vest-and-pants-becuase-I-forgot-my-PE-kit-yet-again-vulnerable. Here’s what happened next.

1) I failed. I had prepared my original talk then launched into something that was unfiltered, straight from the rawest part of my heart and included how I literally blagged my way into teacher training by pretending to be Scottish.

2) What I said resonated with lots people, many of whom took the time out to Tweet me and let me know. If that included you thank you for your kind words.

3) @youareamazing‍ gave me a t-shirt with ‘I Am Amazing’ on it.

4) Nick Corston put together a funky video of the talk.

5) I wore my ‘ I Am Amazing’ t-shirt the next day on the school run. Immediately started worrying about what people would think of me having ‘I Am Amazing’ plastered across my chest so rushed back and swapped it for my ‘I love Santa’ jumper.

6) The MD of Crown Publishers saw the funky video, arranged to meet with me and gave me a book deal! (Wait, what?!)

7) After an initial misunderstanding about joining a volleyball team, I was invited to help organise #TMLondonBoat.

8) @misswilsey‍ asked me to do a workshop on diversity at the #WomenEd Leadmeet. I said yes, not letting the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure whether she meant the dance group or something else I knew equally less about deter me.

9) I had a mahousive case of Imposter Syndrome every time I thought about what I was going to say in the workshop.

10) I did the workshop and met shed loads of amazing women at the conference who embrace and challenge me in equal measure.

11) @nataliescott‍ (yes THE Natalie Scott) wrote about me on her blog and kindly let me tag along and join her in at the school she teaches at in the Grand Synthe Refugee Camp in Dunkirk.

12) I have a fair few bookings to speak, invitations to write and requests to awesome in public, and it’s all down to being 10% braver than usual.

All of this means I get to spend more time with teachers, reminding them that they are agents of transformation. The teachers that interrupted my trajectory didn’t do so by collecting endless data about my performance, but but being genuinely interested in engaging me, enrolling me and investing in me.

Add these 10 things to the list of bazillions of incredible opportunities and experiences that wouldn’t have happened if teachers hadn’t saved my life and I’m feeling particularly grateful this summer. 

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