So often we try to take on the challenges of life alone. We tell ourselves that it will make us stronger, that we should be able to do it. But the truth is, we are so much stronger together, and Bronwyn Joyce's story this week reminds us that this is true. I'm feeling inspired to take on whatever comes my way this week, and I hope you are too!
Born and raised in the Country Victorian town of Traralgon, Australia. I started my solo journey of self-perfection young. Straight A’s up to Year 11, academia came easy, but that could not be said about socialising. Finding my tribe was hard, as I never ever felt I fitted in anywhere.
After marrying and starting my family young, the birth of my third daughter at the age of 27 made me questioned myself on what I wanted out of life. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. I wanted to be a teacher. My husband challenged my dedication to succeed, and I rose to that challenge. Working five days a week, studying and caring for three children under the age of four, for three years, I put every minute I had to finish on top.
But one day the school bell rang and in ran the students: I had found my calling. Teaching the toughest of the toughest kids from Day 1, my determination lead my principal at the time to question me about my obsession with perfection. I would work long hours and research every minute I had to make sure every day was the best it could be for my students. The sense of achievement and knowing I was changing lives drove my day and would not leave any stone unturned.
At this point, I started to see I was different from others. I was always problem-solving, having conversations and making relationships my number one priority. Not only was I teaching children with challenging lives and circumstances, but I was also dealing with two of my daughters being diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and an ongoing personal battle with depression. While others tell me they would have caved in, I just continued to professionally develop myself without realising I was taking this journey alone. No tribe, no friends, just my family and my job: that was all I thought I needed.
After being offered a chance to work on a global project and travel to China, my life changed forever. I was introduced to the world of Global Education and the need for kids to be learning about the world with the world. With no idea how to use the internet or use a computer, I attended a PD to teach me how to blog. Next, I was experimenting and educating myself; I built a blog, and I was bringing technology into my classroom.
Over the past few years, my persistence and perfection have lead me around the world. My travels have taken me from the Middle East to South America, sharing my knowledge and passion for connecting classrooms around the world.
After years of being the lone soldier in my school, in my life, and in my mind, I found my tribe. Two inspiring ladies who just get me, who battled barriers just like me, who faced challenges head on and who never give up. These ladies have changed everything about me. They made me step out of my comfort zone and let people in, something I find really hard to do.
This past week I watched my "Our Global Classroom" Flipgrid, created and run from my ideas, hours of sleepless nights and creativity, smash every record possible linked to Flipgrid Technology. Before my eyes, 4700 students shared a book recommendation on my grid from countries all over the world.
Something bigger than this global success was my relaxed persona: I was okay with bringing on board two co-pilots to support me with the grid. Never in my life has I let others in; I always worked alone. It was one of the co-pilots Michael Drezek who helped make this week such a success.
You see, when you find your tribe you start trusting people, your journey becomes a reality. Without my Soul Sisters Margret and Marialice by my side, I would have given up on my Our Global Classroom dream a long time ago. I sit here now looking to my next challenge.
I am one of the luckiest ladies on Earth. I have a beautiful family, I still have depression but manage it fantastically, and I have the best friends on this Earth. My friends understand me, care about me, listen to me, and I know will have my back even when the road is tough as I continue to follow my dreams.
I have just one thing to achieve, and that is to meet these two inspirational ladies who have impacted my life so much. One day soon I will thank them in person. Margret and Marialice are true #SWU (strong women united) Leaders, and I am blessed to have them in my life.
By Bronwyn Joyce
Both Marialice and Margret will also be sharing their stories of their personal journeys this week. Check back for updates.