A few years back I ran across this image that was posted on Instagram by Dave and Shelley Burgess....
It was one of those messages that strikes when you least expect it and stays with you for weeks to follow. I took a screenshot of the message and have referred to it many times on days when I need the reminder...
Just Be You
Tell Your Story
In this wild and incredible connected world we have the unique opportunity to learn from people across the globe 24/7. We can collaborate over a Google Hangout, engage in Twitter conversations, and join in on Voxer conversations any time we wish. We can chat with our favorite authors and those that share our same passions. With this rapid fire of inspiration coming at us around the clock it's nearly impossible not to learn and grow as an educator. Being connected has fueled my fire for education and challenged me to not settle for the status quo, but to continue innovating to create a classroom where learning is magical. It is not an exaggeration to say that my teaching has been transformed by the educators in this space. My PLN continually encourages, supports, challenges, and pushes me beyond what I ever imagined was possible.
As I was chatting with my dear friend, Tara Martin, I shared with her the image above and how it resonated with me. She brought my attention to the little words that nearly blended into the background of the image...
SMILE. HELLO, SUNSHINE. TAKE A LEAP.
I couldn't help but think of those little nudges of encouragement my PLN has always given me when I most needed it.
Smile...you are amazing.
Hello, Sunshine....I believe in you.
Take a leap...you've got this.
Yet, even in the midst of this amazing support and encouragement I can allow those words to blend into the background and begin to compare, doubt, and second guess the value of my story. In fact, my story has been so largely impacted by so many, I sometimes start wondering how much of it is my own. Where am I in it all? As I battled those negative thoughts that were once again beginning to surface, Tara, asked me this...
What's your "WHY"?
I went to bed too tired to answer, but with the question on my heart. I didn't spend much time thinking about it the following day, yet when I had a moment to message her back without hesitation I wrote this....
To share the power of creating magical learning spaces that are filled with joy and passion.
A place where....
...play is encouraged
...curiosity and wonder fills the air.
...creativity and collaboration are abundant and enthusiasm is electric.
...risk taking is not only encouraged, but applauded.
...students are not only immersed, but empowered.
...memories are made and passions are realized.
...every student experiences joy in learning and leaves school ready to chase their wildest dreams.
I realized my "WHY" is the fire that burns deep within me.
It's made up of a collection of moments and experiences that have shaped me.
It's my heart.
It's my story.
It's my manifesto.
No one else has a story just like mine. Yet, my story may be just what someone else needs to hear at that moment in time to inspire and encourage them in their own educational journey. So many people have helped transform and shape who I am as an educator, I want to give back and do that for others as well. The fire that burns within me might be the spark that ignites someone else's flame.
So ask yourself.....What's your "WHY?"
Just be You.
Hello, sunshine...Take a leap.
Tell your story.
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.