About this time last year, I was offered the chance to join I CAN Network’s schools program as a classroom mentor. I’d been a mentor on several I Can Camps prior to this, and I was already working as a speaker and as Editor in Chief, but becoming a school mentor would mean that, after two years as a volunteer, I CAN Network would become a paid job for me.
I was excited, but I was also terrified. Back in 2012, I had tried my hand at a Diploma of Education, and the whole thing had gone to pieces like a china teapot dropped from a low flying space shuttle. I went fine when it was all theory, but once I got into an actual classroom I got nervous, I couldn’t control the class, and the stress became so much that I ended up dropping out of the course and doing Journalism instead.
I worried that the same thing would happen once I started classroom mentoring for I Can Network. In fact, in the lead up to the start of this school year, I almost backed out several times, the memories of my previous failure hanging over me like the Hindenburg.
With the support and encouragement of my colleagues, however, (particularly Chris Varney, who co-mentored with me) I resolved to give it a go. And it was hard, at first. But the more I kept doing it, the easier and less stressful it became.
At the start of this year, I didn’t think I was capable of mentoring even one school, but as I write this, I have signed up to mentor at multiple schools in 2017.
I guess it goes to show that we should never let ourselves be limited by past setbacks. Yesterday’s failure is today’s challenge, and tomorrow’s victory.
By Max Williams