Today, after two years of hard work, I received a moment of truth. I was deep in some work preparing for an upcoming presentation when someone lightly knocked on front door sending our beagle into a fit of barking. Once the noise and furniture surfing subsided, I opened the front door to find a smallish UPS envelope. My heart skipped a couple of beats at I looked at the address…Portland, Maine. Could it truly be a package I had imagined opening a million times in the last two years? I carefully opened the envelope and peeked inside. Out slid one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen….my book.
In my hands I held my moment of truth. The time that over the last 23 months I had yearned for and dreamed of, sometimes wondering if it would ever happen. Would all of these words on my laptop actually end up becoming a book? After the dancing around and noise subsided (this time me, not our little beagle), I immediately thought about this journey and what I learned from it. There are so many things that are running through my head, and I’m sure once my feet touch the ground again, I’ll come up with many more. I wanted to share a few of them now as I feel like they directly impact our students.
Try new things.
I had never thought about writing a book, but at a presentation in Atlanta, Holly Holland, from Stenhouse Publishers, approached me and asked me if I would be interested in sharing my teaching experience and journey with others. The thought of authoring a book while teaching and fulfilling my other professional and personal obligations was a bit daunting even at the front end of this experience. But with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to try this new experience. What I discovered was that I loved to write and reflect on what I was doing in the classroom, even if I was the only one reading it. One might say that this experience has born a true passion for writing, and in spite of family encouraging me to take some time off, I started this blog and have even outlined a couple of new chapters for a potential new book which may only be written for my own introspection.
Isn’t this what we want for our students? Don’t we want for them to try new things, overcome the fear that sometimes comes with the unknown? As teachers, it is our responsibility to provide as many experiences as possible for them in the short time that they are with us. We need to be there to encourage them to try something new. Guide them and reassure them as they discover new passions. How exciting is it to witness those discoveries that students make?
So as you are doing all of your professional learning this summer, keep that in mind. Make some connections, learn some new strategies, discover new avenues of learning so that your students can reap the benefit of trying something new.
(My initial post ended up being so long, I've decided to post the rest in a couple of days...stay tuned!)