By CELA on 18 Dec, 2017


I have been seeing all these beautiful stories of Santas going above and beyond the call of duty for children. Signing for a deaf child, getting on the floor with autistic children, praying with hurting children and more.

These Santas are only in these children’s lives for 5 to 10mins but can have a profound and last impression on them.

As educators, we have children for weeks, months or even years – can you imagine the impact we have on them??

Henry Brooks Adams said “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.”

Every moment is a chance to teach, show, demonstrate, develop, grow and discover. What we do today creates that child’s inner voice and conscience for life.

Cassandra Nolan, via Facebook with writer’s permission.

My year of reflection: Diane Lawson

We are nearly at that time of year when many services will close for a short time, or in the case of preschools, have already closed up for the school holidays.  While some educators will take only a very short break, it remains a point in the calendar when reflections are particularly worthwhile.

Throughout the year, my first full calendar year as CELA’s CEO, I have been reflecting on the nature of inspiration and aspiration in this sector.  It came to a head for me at our recent Inspire Conference as I listened to the stories from grassroots educators that were surely at least as valuable as any well paid specialist. These stories of resilience, connection with community, of innovation and practical solutions, convinced me completely that every educator who strives for quality and children’s wellbeing is an extraordinary person.

Time after time this year I have seen it, often in posts here on Amplify. Mid-career educators proposing practical solutions to get past barriers and create community connections.

Be your own hero

It leads me to this reflection: you don’t need to follow the heroes of the sector when by being true to your practice you can be your own hero.

Read Cassandra Nolan’s reflection above.  It’s a combination of her thoughts from 2016 and today and a very important provocation: What we do today creates that child’s inner voice and conscience for life. As she says, you don’t need to be Santa Claus to bring joy and hope to a young child, but you might need a touch of inner magic from time to time to be able to see the heroic nature of your task.

I will have more to say about this in the New Year when we return with a basketload of resolutions for ourselves and for our political leaders (hint: Australia’s Attorneys-General, we’re coming for you!) but for now I ask you to simply look back over your year with fresh eyes.  What have you changed this year? What worked? What failed and what did you learn from that?

Give yourself permission

And finally, whether you have only a few days or a lengthy break: give yourself permission to do as I said at Inspire 2017:

…transcend your workplace interests, put aside your to-do list, and get back in touch with you. Just smell the roses for no reason other than that they are there.

My very best wishes to you all, and we will see you again in 2018!

Meet the author

Diane Lawson

Diane has over 25 years’ experience as an executive in the non-profit, health and social care sectors in Australia, England and the Middle East. With qualifications at degree and masters level in nursing, women’s studies and human resource development, Diane has lead on the development of an extensive range of highly credible evidence based policies, products and services to build workforce capacity.

About CELA

Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.

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