The Colour of Courage

By Annie Pendrey. Member of PDNorth’s online practitioner action research exchange.

Courage – This has been a word I have examined over the past few weeks and continue to explore on both a personal and professional level in the face of adversity. I have reflected upon how the world of education will look once we all return to some kind of ‘normality’, when we return to a routine (remember that?) and return to the ordinary things that in the past we have possibly taken for granted.

I am not afraid to say that the past few weeks have been dark and it is in those moments I have tried to find ‘colour’  in my personal and professional life and at times I have struggled not to desaturate colour from my own life, my family and my colleagues and friends. Moreover, in the moments of the darkness, I began to wonder if courage was a colour what colour would it be?  This led me to examine closely the flurry of rainbows popping up in peoples windows and in turn inspired me to utilise my previous floristry skills and adore the front of my house with ribbons in the ‘Roy G Biv’ style. It was during this creative moment that I recalled a book introduced to me by Lou Mycroft, Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee, and a word I have taken from it. The word is ‘chromophobia’, this is best described as the aversion to colours. For those of you who know me well will know  I have no aversion to colour and I possess an inner Magpie which loves glitter and sparkle but more than ever I needed to discover how my inner courage was related to colour in my life and my work.

So, this has led me to question how can we as educators not be fearful of colour, how can we inject colour back into our working lives or possibly our personal lives and into the lives of our learners? How can we move forward and not be fearful of making a different colourful choice in our approaches to teaching and learning? Relating these questions back to my house of rainbows which sits in a small row, the only house which is not brown brick with white windows but has ribbons flying in the wind, bows attached to topiaries glistening in the April sunshine, it demonstrates I am not chromophobic and I continue to display the courage through colour, more so now that I feel I have ever done in my life.

For some of us educators and learners, colour may be missing from your lives right now and so making connections with one another is more powerful now than ever in order to not separate colours or your feelings, to support each other with our emotions or the moods we feel each day. In conclusion, how can we use colour and courage to reflect light and hope, to reenergise ourselves, our education system and our learners? May be the answers are somewhere over the Rainbow?

Dedicated to my Brother #Covid19