As an educator, musician, artist and lifelong learner, I've had a wide variety of experiences that have inevitably come to shape my thoughts, beliefs, and actions. I've come to realize the importance of living a life that is in alignment with who I am -- a life that is the truest representation of the most authentic me I can be. I've come to realize the importance of having a place to come to where it is safe to seek, safe to ask, and safe to explore the possibilities of what can be, rather than resign myself to what is.
I admit it, I'm a shameless idealist. I am a visionary, and always have been. I love to explore the possibilities that exist within the mind, and I love to test the limits and boundaries of reality, in order to create a better one. I believe with my whole heart that if one has the desire to change a facet of their life that's no longer serving them or their purpose, that it is possible to do so. I believe that our thoughts create our reality, and that we have the power to change our reality. I also believe that change doesn't occur by our own doing alone, but that we need God and each other to make it happen. We are co-creators of our own lives.
And so, being co-creators, I have a profound, fundamental belief that when like-minded people, especially women, get together and decide to make it happen, it will most likely happen. I look at the collaborative spirit that resides within each and every one of us – the innate desire to nurture, to foster, to encourage, and to empower our students to be the best possible version of themselves that they can be. We do this on a daily basis. We went into teaching because we had an original passion to inspire, to make a difference, to let students know that who they are and what they do really matters. And that it is not just “okay” for them to honour themselves, but it is their fundamental right as human beings to do so.
I began a journey of self-discovery two years ago when, in a state of disillusionment and a bit of burnout, I made the very difficult decision to step back and re-evaluate my position, my career, and my fundamental life purpose. During this time of self-reflection and healing, I came to realize that I was not alone. Countless women, not just in the teaching profession, but in many other careers and disciplines, are stepping back and re-evaluating what is most vitally important in their lives. By allowing myself the time and space to explore this extremely important question of “what it’s all about” for me, I was able to tap into a deep, deep well of wisdom, courage, inspiration, and vulnerability that I never knew existed. And it changed my life.
The source of this well is a Women’s Forum. A safe, secure place where women from all walks of life come together to share experiences: their joys, their struggles, their acts of courage, their “aha” moments, their failures, and their triumphs. Never before have I felt so connected, supported, heard and encouraged. It is a place of non-judgment. A place where women can ask questions, none of which are too silly to ask, all of which are considered, pondered, debated, and welcomed. A safe haven in a sometimes unsafe, fast-paced world of deadlines, bills and hurdles.
It is a well-known fact that wellness programs are linked to greater productivity, less absenteeism, and a reduction of stress and, as a result, long-term health care costs. It is also a well-known fact that when women have a place to vent, to express, to discuss and debrief their issues and challenges in a safe, supportive environment that is embedded in the workplace, productivity and job satisfaction increase. It is no secret that the demands of the educator’s role have increased significantly over the past 20 years, and yet nothing consistent has been put in place to provide ongoing mental and emotional support.
Can you imagine if this forum existed within our educational system? Can you imagine the productivity that would emanate as a result of this, if every place of employment offered this forum to its employees?
Ladies, I believe that KPR Women is the beginning of this type of forum. I believe that KPR Women is the seedling that could spark an entire movement and promote positive change, not just in our board, but in boards across the province. I urge you to join KPR Women, and start contributing your ideas, your thoughts, your concerns. Because it has been proven time and time again, that women working together, are unstoppable.
Daria Gimon, ETFO
Educator and Empowerment Coach
To join KPR Women, click on the Become a Member link above. To Like us on Facebook, click on the Facebook image below. If you'd like to write for us, email your submission to email@example.com. To reply to Daria, post your comments below.