“Life is full of highs and lows. We need them both to grow to our fullest potential. Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride.” ~ Dawn Gluskin
Tags: elementary teaching, perseverance, burnout, mental health, positive attitude, growth mindset, mental health support, goal setting, faith building, encouragement
If I do say so myself, I have taught some of my most successful and engaging lessons this month. Yeah me! We are studying simple machines in Science, and I wanted to make it interesting and hands-on, so we did several experiments. We had so much fun comparing the speeds of items rolling down an inclined plane, making plastic spoon catapults when we learned about levers and constructing mini flagpoles complete with little flags and pulleys. The kids were beside themselves and so delighted to be able to do more activities in partners and small groups now that some restrictions have been lifted. One little girl was especially pumped about the original flag she created for her imaginary country of “Volcano Land.” She told me she was going to compose a national anthem for it and would like to share it with class the next day. I was excited as was she the next day, to hear her national anthem that she had composed and practiced “all night” at home. It went like this …. “Oh Volcano Land….” (Think O Canada…) pause…. “Umm that’s all I have so far!” Not quite what I expected. Priceless, and so cute!
Although I am particularly proud of these lessons mentioned above, some other lessons, not so much. I have had times where kids look at me with blank stares where I have even confused myself on what I was trying to explain. The metric staircase lesson I was teaching recently is a great example. I hadn’t taught this topic for a few years. Nevertheless, I was confident that I still knew how to deliver the goods, until I tried to explain converting with mm, cm, m, and km and realized I was so out of practice! Let’s just say if the metric staircase was a real staircase; I came tumbling down the stairs for all to see! But guess what? I survived. We all laughed about it. I put the lesson aside, did my homework on the topic and delivered it later that week with clarity. It was a teachable moment for sure, and that is always a good thing.
I can’t help but think that life is so much like that. We have hills and we have valleys. For myself, some days I feel like I am crushing it. I am so productive. The to-do list is getting done. I am so proud. I feel on top of the world. Yet other days, I am exhausted, can barely make the bed and PJs are my preferred outfit of choice. Did I mention how much I LOVE Pajama Days at my school?
I used to feel so guilty on these days and worry so much about why I couldn’t get my act together. I don’t do that anymore, because I have come to realize that life is truly all about balance. Some days we hit a homerun and some days we strike out. Some days we are the one who has it all going on and some days we are the one who has nothing going on. Can you relate? If so, please do not beat yourself up. You are human. You are tired and you are truly doing your best.
Lately when I get discouraged and start getting into a mode where I am beating myself up for my shortcomings, I ask myself “I am trying my best?” Nine times out of ten the answer is a resounding “YES!” I then remind myself that that is truly all that matters. Life is a marathon, not a sprint and each day provides new opportunities to get back at it.
I have gotten caught up with life and have let my blogging responsibilities go by the wayside which has caused me great stress and made me so disappointed in myself. My blog is something I highly value and getting my message of hope and encouragement out there is a huge priority for me. So here I am, and I am back at it, and it feels GREAT!
We need to understand the assignment we have been given in life is to live our lives each day to honour God, love others and to leave this world a little better than we found it. Some days our influence may seem vast and powerful and some days our strength is needed to simply encourage ourselves. You are loved and valued by so many no matter how you show up each day. The world needs you and a bad day does not equal a bad life.
I want to encourage you to take one day at a time and know that some days simply will be better than others and that is completely normal. Laugh at your mistakes. Learn from them and use them to let others know that you are human and can use those opportunities for self improvement.
It is easy to get discouraged these days but knowing that you are doing the best you can each day whatever “the best” is looking like that day, is all that God asks of you. I got your back my friend and want you to live the best life you can. You are not alone and know that ups and downs come, but you are never alone on this rollercoaster ride called life. You are among friends and you’ve got me! Please reach out if you need to talk! I am all ears! firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Until next time,
1 Chronicles 16:11: Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek His face always.
Little Lesson Learned: Life has its highs and lows, but can still be meaningful when you keep a positive outlook and open mind to learn from both the good and bad that comes your way.
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