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Unforeseen struggles: own them!

Everyday, we as educators, walk into work with a plan in mind. Whether it be to take on the world (one can hope) or accomplish something important to meet the needs of your students and staff, you have a plan. A hope, a dream, an aspiration, or an idea that you yearn to accomplish. A plan that will assist you in meeting the needs of someone on your path for the day. However, it’s not always workable or easy.

Challenges, problems, and differences can stop your plan dead in its track. It’s like a ton of bricks that overpowers the difficulties ahead. The feeling of despair and frustration loom. The thought of “what have I gotten myself into?”┬áThe uneasy feeling that you never planned or dreamed you’d have. However, you’ve got a choice on how to proceed. A choice no one can predict or warn you about. You can either own the challenges or problems and make the best of it or give up.

Giving up, for me, is not an option. It’s a challenge. An unforeseen path that wasn’t on the original game plan. Alas, it’s a struggle to accomplish a surprise that is challenging. It can be a discussion that goes aray, a difficult conversation, or an event that derails your plans. Something that you don’t forsee or plan for. There’s no immediate plan, no agenda.

It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s a struggle. You play out how this struggle will go and try to wrap your head around it. However, we all face challenges in our paths each day. It’s unpredictable and real. There’s no agenda or warning but I challenge you to forge through, don’t give up, and to own your struggles professionally.

Face challengesresize

The challenge may be a roller coaster or a slap in your face but rise up & face your struggles. You can’t predict where the road will lead but you can predict if you will take you on an uncharted path towards tough waters. You’re not along on this journey. Face your challenges head on and own them. Just like the captain on your ship, YOU have the power to steer your course after a surprise attack. YOU have the power to steer head on or around the challenge. YOU have the power to face your struggle head on.

You are STRONGER than you think and can do more than you plan! Be your BEST advocate and rock the unforeseen journey. You never know where it will lead you!

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The greatest compliment

My brother is a man of few words. Although he doesn’t always tell me what’s on his mind (but getting better), he still makes my heart crumble and melt when he does.

My brother and I have a special bond. We both endured many struggles with learning ideas, concepts, and topics growing up and needed a lot of support to be successful. Those trials were both good and bad but he and I overcame and struggled to be successful today. He is the complete opposite of me. I am type A and very organized. He doesn’t mind not knowing when specific things will occur and is extremely laid back (I wish I could be). He listens to everything others say but doesn’t always respond. I, on the other hand, can talk to anyone. He is black and white (not grey at all) and I see the in between.

He makes my heart swell as he’s currently a Senior at the University of Arkansas. Of all the majors in the world, he’s studying English. It’s amazing to me since we both have Dyslexia and struggled and still struggle with learning. When he talks, we listen. He can write the most eloquent posts and it’s always interesting to read.

This afternoon, my brother gave me the greatest and unexpected compliment. As he was heading out to see friends and I would be leaving our family home to go back to the town I work in, he said,

“I’m proud of what you do and tell everyone. You have the patience to work with your students. I don’t always tell you how much I admire your work but I do.”

My heart melted. My brother doesn’t always express himself with many words but this was the best gift ever to me. Memories last a lifetime and my brother’s gift with words and compliment will be ingrained in my memory for a lifetime. I am grateful for such a great brother and look up to him (literally) for his wisdom and grace. I am grateful for his unexpected compliment and will hold this memory and compliment dear and near to my heart.

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The goodness of support

Life is likea cup of tea.

Support. Something we, as educators, sometimes forget to breathe in as we surround ourselves with problems in life and at school. The daily ins and outs of our job can not only take a toll on us but can also drain our cup we are able to drink from to support others daily. As an educator, I want to support my students to the best of my ability. This can include deescalating a meltdown, reading to my students, facilitating learning, and making connections each and every day. There are so many jobs as an educator that it’s easy to forget to fill your cup.

You cup is full of ideas, tools, strategies but it also has to be full of support, encouragement, and goodness to be the best you can be. Your best is vital for students and staff success! YOU have to take care of your emotional fill to support all. One way I do this is to lean on my PLN and participate in twitter chats. I grow and refill my cup of goodness to be the best I can be.

Everyone’s cup is filled differently but it still has the goodness of support and encourage. Support and encouragement for you as an educator is VITAL to be your best. You can’t draw from an empty cup and MUST have a supportive presence to make YOU the best for others to rely on.

I encourage each educator to fill their cup with a supportive PLN, encouragement, and the goodness to make a difference in every life you have in front of you. YOU are vital to education! YOU have to remember to fill your cup of goodness to do good with others.