Okay, so I know that lately I have been blogging about many things close to my heart….well, this one will not be any different! Writing helps sort through my thinking, learning, emotions…and I have had such strong emotions about this lately. This morning something knocked me over the head and said, “Stop focusing on the sad part…Imagine the great things you can do!” You know what, that something was right!
A few days ago, I went up to my new classroom for the first time since May. You know that feeling of….”Oh my, where do I even begin?” You stand there and stare for a bit. Then, once you start looking around, “Oh yeah, I forgot I had THIS!” Then, your friend from across the hall comes over and you start talking and…..2 hours later y’all have nothing done! Or is that just me? 😉
This year was a bit different for me. My heart was a little heavy as I walked into my room because I didn’t have my teaching right arm, my other half that has been across the hall from me for years. And my dear friend. After staring at this room for a minute, I sat down and checked Facebook. 🙂 Isn’t that what every teacher who is still on summer break, but decides to go get a glance at what lies ahead then gets overwhelmed does?!
I saw that my sweet friend posted she was in her classroom too, and missing me! I knew right then, we need to find a way to be strong through this and make an even bigger difference in the lives of children. After messaging my friend that I missed her too, I began to get to work.
In case you are wondering, I did get some things done! Does anyone think it might have to do with the fact that my friend wasn’t across the hall? LOL! After seeing her at a district meeting yesterday, we both laughed at the fact that we were not sure how we could do it without each other, but noticed we got a lot accomplished on this working day because we didn’t have each other there. Oh, the irony.
So, this brings me to my big A-HA moment of today. As I sat and thought about this, my friend emailed asking about a digital creation we did with our kids on the first day that we ALL loved and that helped us really get to know our kids. As I emailed her back, my mind quickly slipped into it’s comfort of our “thing”……(insert my smiling heart), which is feeding off each other’s ideas, which in turn sparks new ones, which sparks discussion of changing things, and at the end of our conversation the lesson we had in mind is now better than it ever began because we had each other to talk it through!
Instantly I knew, we do not need to be across the hall to talk it through. We just need to reach out to each other however we can. Isn’t that what all educators need to do? Reach out and connect. Sometimes as educators we are so married to the idea of our “team”, our “grade level”, and our own campus that we rarely look outside the walls of our own little box to get new, refreshing ideas or hear something that just might challenge our thinking. Is it the fear of change? The fear of standing out alone? The fear of the unknown? For me, it was the fear of feeling emotions of sadness that I didn’t want to feel because my known was changing to unknown.
I want to share this picture I posted on Twitter. This is my sweet friend, Laura Follett. I can surprisingly say that where we are great together, it will be this moment where we will be even better because of many things. For one, we are both in new positions with new people and without each other. We can learn so many things and SHARE what we learn from seeing a different perspective. Another reason is that we are growing educators! We reach out, connect, and want to learn as much as we can from the smartest people out there so that we can SHARE with everyone we know! But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss her to pieces. 🙂 Who will give me MY hug when I get emotional about a child and cry? Who will remind me to slow down because they are the chillest person I know and I am all over the place?! Maybe those things won’t happen on a daily basis with her, but I DO KNOW we are only a phone call, text, or email away from supporting, challenging, pushing, motivating, and being there for each other! That’s what matters most. Connecting whatever way we can.
My HOPE is that every educator has that person to reach out to and talk it through. Two minds are always better than one! Hey, go for three or four minds and imagine the possibilities!!
Collaborating within the school is very important, but so is collaborating across the district, and even more so with the world! We teach our kids to blog and connect globally to learn from each other. We want them to experience the ideas of others and be well rounded. We teach them the importance of making new connections and building relationships in order to be awesome in this world today. Are WE doing this? I’d like to think that as a whole, yes we are…thanks to Twitter! (If you haven’t made friends with Twitter as an educational tool, you are completely missing out on the BEST PROFESSIONAL development and relationship builder out there!!)
We are all in this together for the reason of changing the lives of children! It’s all about the children. Always. No great teacher ever changed lives by saying, “I would like to stay in my room by myself and just do the boring lessons I have always done and leave after the bell.”
Reach out to those teachers on your team, across the hall, on your campus, on another campus, on another campus in another grade (getting crazy now, huh?!), on Twitter at another school in your state, or even another country!! There are amazing people out there and there is no better time than NOW to connect to make a difference! I’m so excited for my year at my new school with all the great people there!!! I hope your year is full of happiness and excitement in the lives of your students and YOU!