This time last year I was headed off to the ISTE conference in San Antonio. It was so exciting! I was about halfway through my last pregnancy, but I felt great! The school year had ended on a high note, and everything felt bright.
My Snapchat and Facebook Memories are bittersweet as I look on at my face and body not yet stretched from a fifth pregnancy and I remember feeling like I had it all. And I did. And I do.
BUT…this past school year had many ups and downs, both professionally and personally, that have left me drained and tired. I don’t feel on top of the world. I received the scores from our state tests and I don’t feel like a hero. Many of my PLN are now at ISTE in Chicago, but I couldn’t even imagine being away from my children, especially my six month old, at this point in time. How can I feel such a 180 from a year ago?
Because life never stops. Last year’s victories and accomplishments belong to another time. Right now, I seek solace, calm, and peace. I seek time spent with my family. I seek support after healthy reflective thinking. This summer break, I seek rest. Oh yeah, and love….Beautiful, restorative love!
You may be an educator feeling the weight of the past year, like me. And it’s to you I write as well as to remind myself:
1. Some years are mountaintops & others are not.
2. Growth truly is your measuring stick, not test scores, but growth, believe it even when the paperwork doesn’t look so pretty.
3. Stop comparing yourself to you. You are an ever-changing-growing-human. Remember you poured your heart into every human in your path, there’s nothing to regret.
4. You are enough. God created you for the purpose you are fulfilling. It’s not easy, but keep moving, growing, and healing. He loves you, you know.
I’m telling this to myself. I’m preaching to the woman who needs to take time for self-care, who needs to sleep in a few mornings and stay in her pjs. I’m telling me to remember I’m not alone. YOU are not alone.
I started & finished The Fire Within by Mandy Froehlich today. I only put it down to care for my kiddos, but I hated to put it down for a second. Reading the stories of how other educators have faced adversity and grown from their experiences released a flood. Reading how people I look up to have made mistakes and grown from them showed me I’m not alone. All the junk pent up inside came flooding out and I feel like I can do this again. You know, teach some more this coming fall 😉.
Lessons from defeat that have ignited a passion for learning….
It’s not over for me. It’s not over for you. There’s a fire inside of us that may look more like a flicker, but that’s more than enough to start a blaze!
After reading the stories from Mandy and all the contributors, I feel so inspired…to take care of myself and those I love. We’ve got so much to offer those around us, and the people we love have so much power to breathe new life, or fan the flame, into our lives.
I’m also a contributor in this incredible book, and it felt good to be reminded that I’ve faced challenging seasons before & I’ll face them and grow from them, again.
What will you do this summer? I’d love to know!
If you are interested in learning or reading how other educators are facing adversity from mental health issues, trauma, and using it as a means of growth and empowerment, please check this book out!
Love this, Melody! You are amazing and I’m so proud and humbled that you gave me your story for the book 🤗
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I’m so honored you accepted my story & helped me edit/turn it into something that could help others! Thank you, Mandy! Your personal story will help so many and left a mark in me to keep my eyes looking for hurting students & to never cast aside their words & hurts so I can be a person they can count on to help them. ❤️