Trish Jackson

Footsie Photos

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From the teacher who started my journey of speaking to students.

My dear friend Trish has been an inspiration to me all my life. So the year I taught Year Six in my Primary school and came across an Australian Curriculum Unit of work about inspirational people my mind went directly to her. The unit of work mentioned now famous Australians who had overcome incredible obstacles to achieve extremely successfully in their lives. Amazing achievements actually, but my thoughts went to Trish who has shown such courage, persistence and love to be the incredible person that she is and what she has overcome to be successful in life.

I contacted her about coming to talk to my class, which then snowballed to the whole year six cohort of approximately 100 students. Fortunately for me, she accepted the invitation and challenge as she had never done anything like this before, but I knew it was in her capabilities because this would be nothing compared to what she has faced in her life. Trish was ‘Oh I’m not that inspirational Robyn’, ‘Omg, yes you are,’ I said. So we planned a time for her visit. She arrived at the office, I sent the two school captains to greet her and bring her into class. I remember that moment, she was very timid and I’m sure nervous coming in, as you would be to face 100, 12 year olds, but that particular year our year sixes were incredible young people just wanting to know how she coped with life and its many challenges as a Thalidomide sufferer.  What started as going to be a short half hour visit became two hours. She told her story; the children were glued to her every word. A few of us shed a tear when she told us of her birth and the aftermath. The kids were full of questions which Trish answered honestly and without reservation. They felt honoured to know such an incredible person.

Trish showed them how to write with their feet and how she does the everyday life tasks which we so take for granted. The children tried to write with their feet too, there were many giggles at how their writing and drawing turned out, also an appreciation, which they would never have had in their life without Trish. There were many comments of, ‘Are you kidding, how does she do that?’  I was so, so proud of my friend.  Trish showed the kids her photography skills and all she has achieved. On completion of our talk, the children didn’t want to let her leave so the whole class walked her to where her husband picked her up at the front of the school. They waved her off and the constant chatter about her life was the topic of many days later.  I haven’t had her back to school because now I teach Year Two and that unit of work has moved on to High School Year Seven. But this became a teaching moment that the students and I will never forget. I see these students some times and they talk about Trish’s visit and how amazing she truly is. They ask me how she is going and I have told them that they were just the beginning of an amazing public speaking career moment for her. They smile and are proud of her and themselves.

That day ‘my’ children; our year sixes, were taught many life lessons which they carry with them today. They are now in Year Nine. The hand print Trish painted for us is still hanging on my classroom wall and when asked, I proudly tell my new students just how precious that painting is and exactly what it stands for. That day the kids certainly learnt lifelong lessons and what the word ‘inspirational’ truly means. Trish made her mark on those students and changed and enhanced their lives; she made a difference! I am forever grateful to have her in my life!

Feedback from St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Barcaldine

Thank you to St. Joseph’s school for allowing me to use this feedback and photos from my visit to their school.

On Wednesday we had a visit from Trish Jackson who is a motivational speaker. Trish was born with no arms but that has not stopped her from achieving great things in her life. You can find out more about Trish by visiting her website: http://footsiephotos.com/

Trish spoke to all of the students as part of our buddy activities in rotations, which was very good timing as we have been doing some work around resilience during these sessions. Trish had lots of valuable messages for us. She showed us photos to demonstrate how she goes about daily activities and even hobbies such as fishing. Trish took the time to write every child’s name using her feet as a keepsake for us. After the talk, we reflected on what we took from the talk and each student came up with a goal that they are going to try really hard to work on over the next week. I thought I would share them with you so that you can provide your child with some gentle encouragement!

Our goals:

Matilda – Don’t give up

Bryce  – I will try my hardest

Ben – I will treat others the way I want to be treated

Tim – I will try my hardest in everything

Korbin – I will help people

Reuben – I will never give up and try my hardest

Mia – I will think positively instead of negatively

Bryson – I will never give up

Riley – I won’t laugh at people even if they are different to me

Enzo – I will never give up even if I don’t think I will make it

Cooper – Don’t give up

Joseph – I will show pride and confidence in what I’m doing

Edith – I will put my best effort into maths

Sarah – I will always have a go

Roko – I will try my best because if I do I will succeed

Beau – I will treat people kindly even if they are different

Emma – I won’t judge people by what they look like

Brayden – Don’t give up

Sol – I will help people when they fall over

Reannon – I will always try my hardest

Bryce – I will help other people tidy up

Ellie – I won’t judge people by how they look

 

Trip to country schools, Queensland.

Last week saw me travel to a little school, who asked me to speak to them in Winton Queensland. During the week I spoke to 5 schools on my journey with over 300 students all up. The trip was long and hard on my body and I am paying the price for it, the simple thing of lifting my leg to clean my teeth in a hotel room that had a very high bench height has done enormous damage to my hips and it will be a few weeks of intense physiotherapy to get my hips back into their normal pain levels, instead of the accelerated pain that I am having now. In saying that, the trip was absolutely worthwhile, the kids were wonderful, engaging and asked great questions. I have posted below some feedback from one of the schools I went to and will post the others as I receive them. I just want to say thank you to the schools for having me and for allowing me to post the feedback and the photos, it is very much appreciated.

 

St. Patrick’s Catholic School, Winton.

Trish Jackson, a motivational speaker, spoke with our students this morning. Trish is a Thalidomide survivor and has learnt how to live life to its fullest with the use of her feet and mouth. She shared some of her life lessons with the students today. I believe these messages are so important, especially when you hear about the lack of resilience in youth these days. In the last week both ‘The Footy Show’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ have made mention of the need to support vulnerable youth. Thank you Trish, you may have saved lives today with these inspiring words:
“Give everything a go.”
“Be happy with who and what you are and continue to move forward.”
“It’s about what we have in life and making the most of it.”
“Your only limit is you – make sure you try everything!”
“Even if you are having a bad day, find and focus on the positive!”

Feedback from Nobby state school, Queensland

Extract from Nobby’ school’s newsletter. Thank you Nobby for having me at your school and for allowing me to use these photos on my website.

All of the students were asked to say one word to describe you. I have attached the Wordle that was created using those words (the larger the word, the more times it has been said.

‘grateful teacher’

Hi Trish,
This is a personal email rather than a teacher one.
I was truly moved by your inspirational session with our students. As a teacher it has given me so much to work with, when a seemingly ordinary lady, under extraordinary lifelong circumstances, shows and lives by example, how to be truly grateful, persistent and happy. You have enabled me personally to share this jewel of your lifelong attitude with others. This will stay with me for a very long time indeed. And to be able to share and use this with students as a motivation is a blessing. Thank you for visiting us here.
Sincerely,‘grateful teacher’

 

Feedback from Brigalow State School, Queensland

I found myself in a little town called Brigalow, where I spoke to a lovely little country school, the students ranged from prep to grade 6.

The students were delightful, attentive, and had a go at writing with their feet for me. The students told me about their town and also were very good ambassadors to tell me about the Chinchilla Melon Fest that was happening on the weekend, they were so excited.

 

Trish and Trevor,

Can not thank you enough for your presentation and talk today.  The kids were absolutely engaged and I am sure that your story of giving anything a go and finding a way around obstacles will be one we can revisit often when they are encountering difficulties in their own lives.

 

I have paid a lot of money for motivational speakers to visit our school, and yours was well and truly above those.  Very personal and with photos and activities the kids could relate to.  Thankyou!

 

Trudi

 

Trudi Eather

Principal

Brigalow State School

Students asking questions during my slide show.

Students comparing their hands aginst Matty Bowen’s and my handprint.

 

Adelaide school visit.

My travels found me in Adelaide where I spoke to students at Linden Park primary school. Below is an article they posted in their school newsletter, I hope you enjoy reading it. Thanks for having me at your school Linden Park.

 

linden-park

my latest school visit, spoke to grades 3, 4 & 5’s.

My beautiful cards and pencils I received after my talk yesterday. This was the feedback from one of the beautiful teachers there..

Thank so much for today. The kids couldn’t stop talking about you and didn’t want to leave at the end. The other teachers had so much praise for how wonderful your presentation was. We couldn’t get over how involved they were. I wish my kids were that interested in listening to me, haha. Thanks again, you certainly have a talent for sharing your message.

Teachers do an amazing job and don’t get enough credit for what they do..15027868_1240938849261648_8792170644901555833_n

Another feedback letter from a grade 6 student.

Feedback letter.

Feedback letter.

Another feedback letter sent to me from a student.

Another feedback letter from a student.

Another feedback letter from a student.

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