Saturday, October 12, 2013

I Will Follow My Own Advice

I have found myself reflecting on what to do during rough times over the last few months. Challenges in both my personal and professional lives have created some feelings of sorrow, anger, and frustration. While considering what I should do about this, I found myself repeating some of the things that I often ask/tell my students when moments such as these arise.

What is your choice? Do you want to continue with the feelings you have, or do you want to do something to change how you feel? You have every right to feel sadness and anger, however at some point you will no longer want to feel this way. What can you do when you are ready to change your mood? I have decided that in order to move forward, I will have to find all that is good right now and not let it slip my mind. I have a beautiful family, a wonderful group of children to work with every day, a group of people that I work with who are both humorous and hard-working, a community that is mostly supportive and understanding, and my health. I have a lot to be thankful for, thus I have the tools to overcome my current state.

I also need to remember who I am. I am an introvert by nature. I gain energy to move on from being alone and reflecting rather than from being in public situations. When in the company of others, I become exhausted and need to recharge. This can be difficult for some extroverts to understand. Fortunately, being with children does not cause the same level of exhaustion as being with adults, but that is a whole other blog post. Now, that I find myself in bumpy terrain, I will need to count more on others as to not burn out. I will need to rely on my best friend of nearly twenty years, my children, my students, and my colleagues as they may also need to rely on me. I will also seek the advice and knowledge of my fellow educators and leaders on Twitter, as they have never let me down. Ask questions and seek help; this is the same advice I may give a student who is having difficulty succeeding on their own.

I will also have to repeat another piece of advice I try to pass on to my students when they encounter a challenge: BE BRAVE. I have stated this phrase more times than I can count and I see the difference it can make for a child. I was fortunate enough to learn the power of this phrase from the educators who cooperate on Twitter (#Kinderchat) and have used it daily since then. Children will face their fears, change their moods, persevere, and find humor when they are reminding themselves to be brave. I now must remind myself to do the same.

I will reflect, remember, be thankful, seek help, persevere, and be brave. If this advice is useful to all of my children, it is also useful advice for myself.