I have been thinking of the word “BELIEVE” a lot lately. In fact, I’ve been noticing the word continuously throughout my day. In the grocery, at the mall, on commercials, and on social media. It may be because it is the holiday season or, possibly because it’s been on my mind so the word is jumping out at me more. I'm not sure. However, as I ponder this word that has been captivating my attention I reflect on its power in my life.
The past 10 years have been a whirlwind. When I entered this decade, I was a mom of 2 elementary school kids and was transitioning from part-time to full-time teaching. Wow! So much has happened in those 10 years. My daughter is well into her junior year of college, my son is a senior in high school, and my husband and I will soon be empty nesters. To experience our kids growing into adulthood and becoming their own people with dreams and passions to pursue fills my heart with such joy.
As we gathered with loved ones over the holidays, I heard many people make comments regarding how much our kids had grown and matured. Though we knew they had, we are with them much more often, so we don’t notice those subtle changes over time quite as significantly. It’s only when we look back over pictures and reminisce about past experiences that we can truly reflect on the transformation. The same can be true in our own life journeys. It is only when we reflect on our past pictures and life events that we can truly grasp the growth that we experience over time.
As I reflect on the past decade and more specifically the past six years, I am absolutely overwhelmed. The growth I've experienced has been exponential and has left me a transformed educator. Flashback six years and you will find a burnt out teacher contemplating leaving education, yet uncertain of what else I could do. I would not have guessed in a million years that a half decade later I would be more passionate about teaching and learning than I've ever been. So much has happened between now and then that has led to this transformation, but let me highlight the key milestones that have marked the road that I have journeyed on.
Brought 1:1 ipads into my classroom
Discovered Twitter and began building my PLN
Attended my first edtech conferences and made real life connections with my PLN
Brought gamification into my classroom learning
Presented for the first time at an education conference
Began blog writing regularly
Began co-moderating #XPLAP chat with author of Explore Like a Pirate, Michael Matera
Began writing proposals to present at conferences
Signed book contract with DBC, Inc
Began presenting nationally at conferences
Make Learning Magical was published by DBC, inc
Transitioned from Culinary Teacher to Tech Integration Specialist
Presented my first keynote
Published my first Make Learning Magical podcast
Began designing my first Grass Roots online workshop
There is one common word that all of these life events have in common:
Throughout my journey, I've had people in my life that believed in me and gave me courage to step out of my comfort zone and make each happen. As a result, with each accomplishment I began to believe more and more in myself and that my story is worth sharing. As I set my goals for 2020, I am overcome with gratitude for the multitude of people who have believed in me and walked with me on this incredible journey to pursue my passion for education. Some walked with me at the beginning of my journey, some have come along at various mile markers along the way, and others have been with me the whole time. No matter what role each person has played, every one has made an impact on the person I am today. When I look ahead to the dreams I have for the next decade, I know that five years ago they would have seemed unreachable. Yet, each milestone has contributed to a reservoir of belief that I will draw from to step out once again.
As you reflect on this past year I encourage you to take time to think about the milestones that have marked the road you’ve been on this past decade. Think about the events and accomplishments have impacted your journey, how much you have grown, and the people who have believed in you along the way, Your story has brought you to exactly this moment in time. Draw courage from your past experiences, surround yourself with people that believe in you, and be confident that you can make your dreams happen! 2020 is calling your name...
Believe in the magic of YOU!
Tech Integration Specialist in Southern Oregon and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.