Sometimes...OK, a lot of the time...OK, often I'm cynical. I didn't used to have so little faith in humanity. Unfortunately, it's a learned thing. The good news, I've learned, is that all is not lost! On this most standard and average Teacher Appreciation Week (ok, there I go again being cynical, but really, what's changed?), I've found several reasons to be inspired.
1) First and foremost, if you read this blog, you INSPIRE me. The posts that I read every day keep me going, motivate me to be better, make me feel better conspiratorially, and just honestly make my life stronger. It is such a boost to know that there are other educators who, at the end of a long crazy day (in addition to all of the home and personal obligations), take time to sit and think critically about their jobs and the fact that the students that we teach every day are so much more than just a job.
2) Today I had to take a sick day due to a nasty sinus infection and something on TV actually inspired me. (I know, I was shocked too.) Jessica Simpson's "The Price of Beauty" is a show on VH1 that I was immediately intrigued and skeptical of all at once when I first heard of it. Basically, Simpson and her two friends travel to different countries in order to find what defines beauty in a variety of different cultures. The amount of respect and genuine seriousness with which the three travelers approached the people that they met along the way was actually awe-inspiring. Today was the finale where Simpson chose to celebrate the different types of beauty and really the confidence and self-love that she had found within herself. As I sat watching, sniffling and thinking, I realized how badly I want to empower my own girls in the same way. Heck, I want to inspire my own self in the same way. It is a goal that I am going to work vigilantly in order to implement in the next 4 weeks before my students move on to the middle school.
3) My students find ways to amaze (and annoy) me every day. I have a little one with untreated ADHD this year who has filled my life with more challenges and tests of patience than I have had in a long while. In truth, I love this student fiercely and the way that we work together to understand each other has really inspired me this year. Even in conferences, when his parents asked how I thought he would do next year at the middle school level, I answered honestly that he was kind of like my baby and that I was a little bit worried to send him on to people who might not understand him and have the tactics I have developed to support and ensure his success. But even in that I have found some inspiration because I stopped to realize that I had no idea what I was doing with this pumpkin when I first had him handed to me, but I managed to figure it out. The educators that he moves on to will learn just as I had to (and if they have any prior experience, they'll probably be way better apt to handle his needs than I). And that kind of brings the list full circle because it is other educators (like you) that inspire me to continue to grow and learn from them for the next group of students whose lives I'm blessed to affect!