Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Power of the Shoulder Tap

Last night I was talking to my mates about wanting to be PPTA President in the future. My friend looked a little surprised. He's been in the PPTA longer than I and has some amazing knowledge on ...basically everything. While dancing to music this morning... I kept thinking, why should he have been surprised though? Haven't I seemed ambitious to him? I've been relatively busily involved with PPTA over the past year. Am presenting a workshop with my peers at this year's Issues and Organising conference on Social Media Organising. I've been sent to Brisbane as a delegate of the PPTA for a New Educators Conference. I've helped build up the Establishing Teachers Conference by organising it and promoting it in it's most dire hour of need.

Is ambition not as clear cut as I once thought?

When I was at high school - I organised various boycotts and joined in with PPTA on teacher strikes. I have always been about the power of the collective voice. I have always fought for the underdog and know that everyone deserves fair representation.

Perhaps though - others see ambitious people as more cut-throat. They tend to throw others under the bus and basically do anything to get where they want to be.

I actually don't think that is ambitious. Sure, it is ambitious in it's inherent nature. But what's more important is that you work hard. You build a name for yourself and people believe in you that you'd do a good job. Sometimes you have to make difficult decisions on what is actually going to be beneficial for you as an individual person, but... I actually don't think there is a need to whakahe anyone else in order to further push yourself up.

If anything - I'm a quiet observer. I will talk when need be and I often have strong things to say when I do. I'm vocal on a range of issues relating to teaching and wouldn't have been so quickly vocal if I hadn't have been exposed to the world of my PLN on Twitter.

To me ambition is doing the things others don't really want to do. Like hold meetings and taking the minutes. Talking with the kuia and koroua and learning from the very best. Being taken under the wing and mentored to a place where you know it will be right for you.

This weekend was the second time I was told by one of my mentors that it's the power of the shoulder tap. That opportunties come this way and it's important to look at that person who brings it, right in the eye and decide whether you can trust them. Because if you trust them, that in all honesty they believe in you, that you can do the job, then you should believe in yourself to be able to do it too.

To me - that's ambition.

So perhaps - when all is said and done... stand up for who you are and have those dreams and aspirations, stay true to your values, but remember - the others who watch from afar are wondering whether your ambition is self-serving or will benefit the needs of the many. Because that's what it's all about right? Having the power to choose to do good, every day.