Friday, January 1, 2021

Word of the Year for 2021

My word for this year is "LEARN". I had to think long and hard about this word. I mean, I am a teacher and I expect my students to learn each day. However, I looked back at this last year and realized there are a lot of things that I need to learn.

I need to learn that I can't do everything myself. When my co-workers offer to help, I need to learn to accept that help. I need to learn that if they have asked to assist me when I know how busy they are that it is a sincere offer.

I need to learn to be more flexible.  When a change must take place at school, I always say, "No problem. You know me, I'm the flexible one."  I am flexible. However, my emotions need to be flexible as well. I need to learn to let my emotions free. I hold them in and then find that I am frustrated or angry. All the time I am feeling this way, I am doing what needs to be done to accommodate the new situation. Holding feelings inside leads to emotional exhaustion. A splendid example of this happened on the 28th of December. This was the day before my step-daughter's wedding. We had so much to do. I had been working all day trying to get things ready for the next day. I had eaten very little for two days because I needed to get things done.  I was so stressed that I could not focus long enough to even make a list of what needed to be done. I became frustrated. I picked up a journal and began to doodle. This is something I do when I can't write to focus. Everyone kept asking what I was drawing. When I replied, "Just doodles", they kept asking what kinds of doodles. I finally asked everyone not to talk to me because I was becoming frustrated and needed to get my head focused before I could do anything. It was harsh. I felt guilty. Had I let my emotions out a day or two before, I probably would not have blown. Everyone was concerned because they knew how stressed I was. I know I hold emotions in and learning to let them out is probably one of the most important things I can learn to do for myself.

I need to learn to be a better communicator. I communicate with my students daily. I often come home so exhausted that I feel I have nothing left for my family. This is where communication breaks down. My husband can look at me and tell how my day went. He will speak and based on my response or how I responded, he will either back off thinking he doesn't want to add more stress to me or try to joke me out of my mood.  I often become so silent I come across as sullen. I just have no energy left.

I need to learn to forgive myself when I react in a way that I normally would not react. Most importantly, I need to learn to forgive others for doing the same thing. We have been under a lot of stress. Some days we are just holding it together. 

I need to learn that in the new year we will have a lot of changes and I can choose how I will react to them. I can choose to follow a negative path or a positive path. I must learn to always choose the positive path. Looking through a positive lens doesn't mean we don't acknowledge negative things happen. It means to look at it and try to find something positive in it that can be built upon. 

I must remember that no matter what our age, we are never too old to learn.  That is why I have chosen this word as my word of the year. May it be a year that we all grow and learn.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Starting Again

If you go back and read my post for January you will see that my husband and I had quite a difficult 2019. We decided to put the positivity back into our life.  Although I have chosen to look on the brighter side of things, that doesn't mean that things have gone all smooth.  We suffered three more losses shortly into the new year.  I kept telling myself if I could just make it to Spring Break I would be able to rejuvenate myself. Then Covid hit.  I like many teachers had to start teaching from home. I ended up putting in more hours than I did when I was in a physical school building. You may ask why, since I could just shut off my computer each day. This is true. But for that child who is the oldest of five in the family, and has spent all day making sure their younger siblings got their work done, I wanted to be sure I was there for them if they needed help.

Covid has made me take a new look at my students this year. I miss them so much. Even those who often gave me problems are missed. I have always had good students. I  have some this year that just aren't that "in" to schooling. That is what I mean by giving me problems. I have always wanted them to learn more than some of them are willing to learn. I have had to tell myself that I can't help them all even if I wanted to. Knowing that we won't have a traditional graduation ceremony for our eighth graders and I didn't get to stay up all night with them at Universal hurt. I really wanted that for this year. But I have some students who have asked if they could keep in touch with me when they go into high school. 

I decided in the midst of all of this chaos to submit my work once again for publication. I am now looking at having my book "Seventy-Times-Seven" published around the new year.  This motivated me enough to entice my students into agreeing to a poetry unit for their last unit.  I have enjoyed writing poetry with them. It got my creative juices flowing. Then I started reading again. I feel like I am back on my way to enjoying reading and writing the way I used to. I feel like I just needed that jump-start to get me going. So where many people choose to look at the negative impact Covid-has had on them and society; I choose to see how it has motivated me to change in a positive way.
So I am happy to say; I am Starting Again.
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