Inclusion, diversity and pink specs…

I’m absolutely forcing myself to sit and update my blog this evening. After what has been quite frankly a bonkers first week of my campaign I suddenly have writer’s block, stage fright … call it what you will but the way I feel about writing this blog is basically a bit scared. So I have booze in hand (you’ll know why if I become a little more ‘rambly’ than usual! – look I’m already making words up!) Here goes.

When my tale about a worm, a slug, a maggot and a leech was first accepted by ‘Britain’s Next Bestseller’ I was over the moon but slightly bewildered, wondering why? Is it a scam?! This week I have been utterly gob smacked at the level of backing and encouragement I’ve received and as well as WOW! I’ve also been anxiously wondering why? Is it a scam?! And overall: what happens if I reach my pre-order target, I get my book published and THEY ALL HATE IT!

That’s my over-active-analytical-self doing it’s usual thing there but thankfully I have come to the firm conclusion that wherever opinions may fall about my book, I am (without a shadow of doubt) surrounded by a bunch of unbelievably supportive friends and family but fundamentally fellow human beings who are keen to instill some pretty decent values in our young. Whilst we all hope to nurture a well-rounded future generation, with my many references to self-esteem, inclusion etc I must stress that I’m not talking about creating a generation of exaggerated political correctness but respectful, thoughtful and confident little people who are able to make well-informed decisions about themselves and those they share the word with and that they will kindly assist others through their journey in life – whoever they may be.

iStock_000019717637SmallRose tinted spectacles? Maybe. But I’ll try and remain optimistic and continue to do my little bit.

With my over-active-analytical-hat firmly planted on my head this week I’ve also been questioning a little more than usual why inclusion and diversity are so important to me. Throughout my SEN teaching it was not uncommon to experience kids arriving at school with a can of Irn Bru for breakfast cussing and swearing and then throwing up in the art-room sink because they were so stoned (all before 9:20 am). Entertaining as it may sound, in most cases their hugely disadvantaged backgrounds led to grim classroom discussions, the incident at their ‘yard’ the night before, the stabbings, the drugs, drunkenness, aggression and violence was the tip of the iceberg. The traumatised kids who had come from war-torn countries seeking asylum in London with extended family because they had left their parents – where? barely spoke… school was a sanctuary for them; a place of safety and consistency with a team of staff who were undeviating in their approaches, their commitment to inclusion and their dedication to improving their life chances, to keeping these kids out of prison (or worse) was constant.

Ultimately I chose a different career path – yet even now as a mediator I iStock_000004146333Smallencounter conflict situations where young children are surrounded by such devastating bitterness and hatred that in many cases their own families are possibly squandering their life chances before puberty is a blip on the horizon.

Either way, each of these children, these young people, will most probably be sharing a world as adults with MY children and I want to do what I can to ensure that if ever their paths crossed, they would all do the right thing by one another. In addition, I am passionate about encouraging inclusion and celebrating diversity because for me this means celebrating and respecting our differences, which in turn educates us, it helps us understand one another by overcoming ignorance and prejudice, and eventually unites us on some level.

Rose tinted spectacles? Maybe. But I’ve got a mighty fine worm, slug, maggot and leech on my team so I’ll remain hopeful!

You can pre-order my children’s book ‘Worm, Slug, Maggot & Leech and their Troublesome Transformation’ at http://www.britainsnextbestseller.co.uk.

Thank you for reading x

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