The Darkness

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

There I was, lying in the darkness.  The literal darkness of night.  Today was a long day, and I should be welcoming the darkness and allowing my eyes to rest.  And yet, there is was.  Staring back at me.  Fear and anxiety wrapped me like the blanket I was under. 

So, I opened my laptop.

I had just finished facilitating a Twitter chat on growth mindset, with my wonderful #D100chat PLN.  Once again, I was reminded of the glorious people that I work with.  They elevate me, and inspire me.  I finished the Storify, then read my email, and the darkness came.

I hate budget problems.  I don't *hate* many things.  But, the seemingly annual panic over budgets in schools in Illinois is starting to wear me down.  I do my job the very best I can, and then somehow my role is reduced to a dollar value, considered as a possible cut to balance a budget that the STATE broke.  It is a weird thing, to walk around and feel like you have a dollar sign on your forehead.  Do I "add up" to that value?  Am I good enough to fight for? And, the darkness surrounds me.  I feel like crying, and screaming, or both.

I love my job.

I love my Hiawatha family.

I love my D100 PLN.


I hate budgets.

So, darkness was covering me, and tears were spilling. But, I chose the light.  

I reached for my computer, and opened an email from Kayla Kaczmarek.  She sent us a quote from a book she was reading yesterday, and I just needed to read it again to restore myself. It is this:

"Progress. Just make progress. It's okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It's okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again--and again. Just make sure you're moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck. The change will come. And it will be good."
Unglued: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotion by Lysa Terkuerst.

I cannot control things out of my control.  Change always comes.  I just need to keep moving forward.  I need to trust that the job that I am doing matters, and that will fuel me.  I need to remember that being stuck is not an option for me, and that I am not going to let the state of Illinois stop me from making an impact.  It is my job to help others, and I cannot do that if I give up on myself.  For as long as I can, I will just keep doing what I do.  BECAUSE IT MATTERS.

The students in my school deserve my very best, every single day.  I can't let the state of Illinois stop me from doing my best for even a single day.  

I am a literacy coach.  I am a teacher.  I make a difference.  

A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth (Mraz and Hertz)

I am going to choose to have the mindsets for learning, and life, that our staff is beginning to focus on this month with our precious Huskies.

Please watch this video from @TheEdCollabGathering, at about 15 minutes in, and it will help you find the light.  Kristine Mraz and her words will remind us that what we do is bigger than us.

I am choosing the light.  

I hope our state chooses that path as well. 

1 comment:

  1. Leah,
    I am so sorry you are in the middle of a budget crisis. It seems really early to be thinking about next year, when we aren't even halfway through this year. We spent 10 or more years in my district in a declining enrollment and every year I wondered if I would have a job the following year. It's stressful and made me feel unappreciated. We are nowhere near good funding for our schools, but at least we haven't been cutting. I watched the #EdCollabGathering2015 video you had linked in your blog. WOW! It could not have come at a better time. My principal spent this evenings staff meeting talking to us about creating a culture of learning and the power of letting students create the classroom. I am going to share it with my colleagues. Thank you for sharing. I hope things get better.
    Jennifer Napoleon