My inspiration – Miss Heighway

Inspirational people don’t have to be extraordinary people. They can be normal people, maybe in your life, perhaps role models, who are inspirational just as a result of their strong character. My inspiration is my mum. Plain old (she’ll kill me for saying that) Anne.


My mum was born into this world as Janet. Given up for adoption, she was quickly found by my grandparents who have welcomed her into their family and loved her for 55 years.  My mum has, and continues to inspire me for lots of reasons.


For the first 7 years of my life, she was married to my dad. This is was a difficult time for us all but she remained kind, understanding and patient even when things got tough. When we had no money, Mum sold my slide to next door so that I could still play on it but it gave her the money that she needed in order to feed me. This decision has always resonated with me. My mum is selfless and always puts others before her. She takes her motherly responsibilities seriously and has inspired me to not only be a good mum (one day, hopefully), but also to think of how my actions affect and hopefully benefit others.


Since then, my mum has remarried. A lot of the inspirational speeches that you have heard in assemblies this week have involved men. This is not to say that women draw their strength from men. But it is important that everyone has someone (man or woman) who loves and supports them. The love and support from another person can often inspire anyone of any gender to be the best version of themselves. For my mum, that person is Peter.


Since being with Peter, my mum went on to have my brother, James. Raising the two of us, again with little income or career prospects for herself, saw her own wants and needs taking a back seat once again as having children took priority. Her strength of character when we often tested her has helped me become the woman (and teacher) that I am today. Without my mum as a role model, I would not know that when I’m in the classroom, I sometimes need to take a minute to re-evaluate the situation (or just take a deep breath!). I would not know the high level of appropriate behaviour that I expect from my students and I would not know that just shouting at a child is probably not the most productive way to motivate them (even if you are frustrated). Mum didn’t always get it right but what she taught us along the way was that it was okay to make mistakes. Mum has never been afraid of failure. She understands the importance of resilience, of not giving up in difficult situations. She has passed this determination on to me.


Four years ago, my mum quit her job at Social Services to become a full time foster carer. This job requires more emotional strength than most and to see Mum caring for other children with the same love, respect and energy as she did with us truly is inspirational. Alongside fostering and looking after my brother (who at 20, probably should have left home by now) and Peter, who has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, she is also a full time career for my physically disabled grandma. These are difficult jobs to juggle, and mum does this calmly and selflessly, again often neglecting her own wants and needs to ensure that the people she comes into contact with have the highest level of care and dignity possible.


My mum’s life experiences and the woman that she is, is one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher. I want to be that strong-minded, caring, loving and fair woman that she has taught me to be. My mum is inspirational not as a result of negative circumstance, but because fundamentally, deep down she is a loyal, kind and amazing woman and I hope one day I can be the same person for my children.


1 thought on “My inspiration – Miss Heighway

  • March 10, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    You Mother sounds like a truly wonderful woman.

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