You can't do everything!

I want to share another (related) issue I clearly remember affecting me as Numeracy Leader.

One side of “imposter syndrome” is thinking you do not KNOW enough (which as I explained is a fallacy)

The other side is thinking you are not DOING enough.

This is a result of being passionate and truly caring about our role.

So it is a good thing!

But the truth is…there are two very important factors which affect your ability to perform in your job.

Time and Money.

When I first started as Numeracy Leader at my school- I was given 1 day per week for the role and a budget of $1000. This was a decent sized school (600 students). I was really passionate about making a difference and improving Numeracy teaching and learning.

BUT…

from the start I felt like I was chasing my tail for a couple of reasons…

  1. It is hard to transition from classroom teaching to a leadership role. I was in the class for 4 days and then in leadership for one day. This was a very different situation to other leaders in the school who were full time out of the class. If you are in the same situation, don’t underestimate the mental load that results from trying to wear “two hats”.
  2. It is hard to make big changes on a big project when you are only working on something 5 hours a week! Imagine you were building a house and you only had 5 hours to dedicate to it each week. You would eventually get there…but it would be a LONG journey.
  3. I “only” (I do realise $1000 is a decent budget in some schools) had $1000 to spend as my budget. So, it meant I had to be laser-focused on our school Numeracy goals. The money needed to be spent wisely, otherwise our progress would be held back. If I spent all that money on a particular “program” - that meant other areas like teacher PD suffered… so I had to be really clear on my goals
  4. I didn’t have a mentor to support or guide me and felt I was pretty much making up things as I went along!

The thing I learnt from these experiences, was to, as they say in AFL football “lower my eyes”. This basically means instead of trying to take in everything, just focus on the next best step. I learnt to refocus my goals so they were realistic and proportionate to the amount of time and money I had been given.

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

So there you have it…

Don’t beat yourself up. You can only do what you can do!

 “Lower your eyes” and identify your next best step towards your realistic goal.

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