I have loved seeing all the tweets related to preparation for return to school this week.

Feelings are mixed because I miss having a school of my own to return to, and the joyful feeling of connection, the buzz of excitement and hope at the start of an academic year. Now I’m focused on enabling positive climates for learning in a boundless learning environment. I’m no longer confined to one building or organisation, but I am reminded of an assembly I revisited today for a range of reasons.

My home is full of shoes. Ever since I encountered the Ladybird book, ‘The Party’, I was hooked on matching shoes. Superficially this may be to match the outfit, but this is also underpinned by sense of identity and outward expression of this, but, more importantly, the shoes we choose to wear today are linked to the steps we intend to make.

For the last couple of years, I’ve worn less shoes. I’ve walked less corridors in person, and I’ve walked new steps, sometimes tentatively, and sometimes meandering along the way. I’m learning to tread new ground and life has brought many new adventures and challenges. My horizons have certainly expanded.

Often my heel height will signal how I feel. It may be I need comfort, or I may need strength and sure-footedness. A shiny shoe may reflect my sense of purpose, or be chosen to lift my mood. I have a pair that light up. The joy of stomping in them is immeasurable!

Our steps matter, in terms of the impact we have on ourselves and others.

It’s important to check in on our intentions, needs and rate of pace. Maybe we’re leaping when smaller steps might be more effective, or maybe a giant stride into the unknown will show us we are more capable than we thought.

Maybe there are some days we need our comfy slippers, and we lift our feet from the floor for a while, or days when we shed on shoes, feel the sand or grass between our toes and splash into a sea of joy.

Whatever your steps today, take them with love, and remember you can always discard them for another pair if they start to pinch, rub or you outgrow them- and mind those loose laces!

I’m off to find my tap shoes . I think it’s time to dance! The options are boundless.

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