I have just finished presenting at the ACHPER Tasmanian Conference, another amazing experience and their hospitality was brilliant – Thank you.
If someone came up to me 14 years ago, just as I received my VCE certificate and told me you would be inspiring others in the education field, I would have laughed and said ‘Turn it Up.’ No way in a million years would I have thought I would be making such an impact towards various educators, young and old, experience and inexperienced.
Back in the high school days, I had good days and I had bad days. I experienced of being bullied, struggled to make new friends and at times would be afraid to go to school. My confidence level was terrible and was very low. I thought I was an alright person to hang out with, but my shyness got the better of me and I struggled to get out of my comfort zone for years. Fast forward to Year 12, probably my favourite year. I had cemented a group of friends, but I was still pretty hesitant in opening up, beginning conversations or answering questions in class, just in case I looked like an ‘idiot’.
When studying for exams, I didn’t mind It at all, but I was no good with tests, SACs or exams. I just really wanted to get a good score to get into university. Unfortunately, at that time my score wasn’t good enough and therefore needed a back up plan. I enrolled into a 2 year Sports Development TAFE course in South Melbourne, and again I felt very shy, I was keeping to myself a lot, not opening up and felt I wasn’t good enough. But I felt pretty motivated in completing my studies and really tried my personal best. So long story short, the 2 years went really quick and it was time to apply for university again, so I did.
I still remember that morning when I got the paper from 7-11 store in Keilor. Uni placements came out that morning and I had to read twice that I was accepted to a 4-year education course (Physical Education) at Victoria University. I was pumped! Then I thought, 4 years is a long time, however it was amazing how quickly it went. I survived university, although I didn’t really attend campus parties or O-Week, only because that was out of my comfort zone.
It was time to apply for jobs. Here I was applying for Classroom Roles, (not sure what I was thinking), I think at the time there wasn’t many P.E jobs. I got an interview at a local school and I remembered walking out of the room thinking ‘Yeap I’ve got this.’ 30 minutes later my phone rings, “Christina, thank you, but you weren’t successful…” I was shattered! I thought why, how? Anyways an opportunity came knocking on my door soon after for part time P.E position at a brand new school. I wasn’t going to take it because I wanted full time, therefore I was being a bit greedy. I eventually took the role and lucky I did because it turned into full time by the time the school year begun.
The first 4 years was a real eye opener for me and I didn’t really get out of my comfort zone, but I did make some amazing friends. About mid way 2014 is where everything changed for me. I bought a new iPad and attended a professional development in ICT/PhysEd. This is where the real magic had begun. I slowly began to get out of comfort and stepped up by trying new things. Trial and error was big for me and having a go to see if it will benefit my students was the key. Actually networking was the key, or even signing up to Twitter.
Presenting at various conferences is always a great opportunity to share the passion I have and I just love it.
I mean seriously, I now present, again 14-15 years ago, there would be no chance. But it’s amazing.
I could write on forever about this, but here are my tips:
I’m happy now I didn’t get a good VCE score, I happy now I applied for university for the second time round and I happy now I took a risk in what I love to do.
I now inspire others who continue to inspire me. I wonder what’s going to happen in the next 15 years?
For more resources, ideas and inspirations please follow:
@cpola17 – Twitter
Miss Physical Education – Facebook and Instagram
Christina Polatajko – YouTube.
These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.