It is our choices … that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.
– J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)
Some weeks feel especially long. However, even though my body feels worn down and the constant chilliness in my cold has brought on a persistent sniffly nose, I am feeling an almost revitalization for the work that I do.
It’s easy to get bogged down with all the teacher “Do-Now’s,” easy to feel like someone is always on your back about things that you find yourself questioning if it is truly what your students need at the moment. I know I’m often tired and feel like I’m drowning in work. There’s so much that can drag you away from what your job is at the end of the day: teaching and touching lives, for however long we’re blessed to have to do it.
I was reminded this week, though, that when I first said yes to this job, I sat down and wrote a vision of what it would mean to put my students on a new life path. I was reminded that the most important things to do in my classroom are the things that align with that vision. Anything else is great, but not the most essential to focus on. I have to knock those things out of my list so I can focus on what truly matters for my students. And I’m slowly seeing the fruits of that labor. I’ve relaunched my classroom culture, I’ve changed up my management system, and transition from one part of my lesson to another with greater ease.
But it’s not easy. It never is. And it takes a lot to keep up the trajectory. But maybe, just maybe if I keep the trajectory going up long enough, it will just propel itself into who knows what realm of possibilities.
And when I need it the most. When I wonder how long it takes to see direct results, I get the support I need from the amazing people in my life. A care package from home, a verbal praise that I’m doing well, a note on the growth of my classroom, hugs from students, and a Facebook message saying that my blog post resonated with someone. I never take the little things for granted. The little victories are never overlooked. The smaller things in life have the capability of bringing some of the most joy. And on the days when I feel like the demands of teaching far outweigh my abilities as a teacher, I remind myself that it will be my choices to learn, to grow, and to celebrate my small victories, that will shine through in me and then my students.