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The power of ‘yet’ – Headmaster’s Blog – 1 February 2017

February 1, 2017
the power of yet, headmasters-blog-ballard-school

I was reading a fellow Headmaster’s bulletin message recently and came across this statement:

We have continued our positive mindset theme this week by looking at ‘the power of yet’. The pupils were encouraged to no longer think “I can’t do this”, but instead, to think “I can’t do this yet”. I am sure I am not alone in having faced obstacles in the past and, at the time, they seemed impossible to overcome. However, with determination, perseverance and support we slowly realise that they can eventually be achieved.

Here at Ballard we have been running a course for staff on ‘mindfulness’. Part of the emphasis is to train our minds – and thus our actions and thought processes – to ensure that we approach life positively and in a more measured and less stress-riddled way. Such techniques are not easy to adopt, especially if habits and ‘normal’ responses are ingrained. On a mundane level I have been trying to cut out sugar from my tea (‘I can’t do this – yet’ but I am reducing the granules). I have also been disciplining myself not to access emails after 9.00pm (mostly successful but not entirely so – yet). These small changes to my lifestyle are intended to improve my quality of life, my health and my rest. Let’s see!

This week I was also learning alongside other Headmasters from our local maintained secondary schools. We meet termly for a non-agenda lunch meeting away from lists, emails, formal meetings and ‘phone calls. Our conversation ranged from catchment areas and grammar schools to school structures, facilities and events and finished on retirement (not yet!) and holidays. I was challenged by one of these Heads, the longest serving amongst our number, who said that in 37 years of teaching he reckoned he had only had ten days when he really didn’t enjoy his work. I had to admit that I had many more days in my professional career when I found things tough, dispiriting and not enjoyable but the challenge from this wise ‘old’ Head was that it has got a great deal to do with our attitude and approach from the moment we start each day. As those who know me will be aware, I do have a faith perspective which helps to infuse and, I trust, drive my life but I shall re-double my efforts to adopt an even more positive approach and whilst it may be I won’t manage this every day, I will take with me the exhortation: ‘I can’t do this – yet’ and so continue to persevere in being positive! It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote: ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…’  (written in 1895).

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

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Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here

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