I have had the fortune of having some wonderful teachers, not just during my school days but also my mentors since. Without a doubt, what they all had in common was the ability to support me but at the same time, challenge me to grow, not just academically but as a person as well.
It is what we have built InFlow Education on. We support and challenge not just our students but also our tutors to grow and develop as much as possible. It’s why our tutors are a cut above the rest. We keep the bar high and make decisions with our students’ best interests and our overall culture in mind.
Whilst support and challenge in equal measure makes an effective teacher, my greatest teacher hasn’t been an actual person. My greatest teacher has been pain!
Let me explain. It was the pain of doing a TAFE course I didn’t enjoy that led me to do my HSC again in one year. It was the pain of hitting rock bottom with depression in my early 20’s that ended up with me seeking help. It was the pain of past relationships which taught me to love myself first. My 5 beautiful children wouldn’t be in my life had I not done that!
It was the pain of being restricted in how I could teach as a fulltime teacher that ended up in me starting InFlow Education. It was the pain of not being able to help every student, that drove me to create the Peace, Purpose and Performance programs. It was the pain of not having high-quality tutors that inspired me to create better training and let tutors go who weren’t a good fit.
It was also the pain of a failed business partnership that taught me to be a better leader, create a better culture at InFlow Education and improve many aspects of the business. The more I have seen it that way, the less intense the pain has been for it to grab my attention to the lesson being taught.
It is pain that usually brings families to us. The pain of a result at school or their child not having self-confidence or the pain of being bullied often lead to life-long skills being learned with us. Skills and habits to build self-confidence, resilience, motivation, purpose, study skills and a path towards doing a job they love and ultimately a more fulfilling life.
Without pain in our lives, we don’t change much. So next time you or your child are feeling emotional pain, my tip would be to stop and ask, “why is this happening to me?” Not with a victim mentality but with a curious tone and look for a solution to the problem. Therein lies your greatest opportunity to grow. Pain is not punishment but life sending us lessons for us to grow in all areas of our life. It may end up being your greatest teacher too.