When I saw her performance – and witnessed the profound and deep-seeded performance, aside from the letter I usually try to slip to seniors when they graduate – that has been a very important part of my educational life as they become graduates – I hope – especially in 2021 that these graduates realize some very important things.
In figuring my educational career – I have been in the educational field for twenty four years – 12 of those years as a Librarian and Media Specialist, 12 as an English Educator, all the while studying Master’s Degrees simply because to be honest, I always search for aspects of education that are morphing, growing etc..
I think in this particular post I am able to identify the core aspects that do not require names –
As an educator, I have seen some pretty harrowing moments, as most educators do – young children from the age of 4 to the age of 18 physically, emotionally, mentally, socially abused, used for money for parents that see their children as such a tool, learned to always keep extra food and a small refrigerator in the back because without fail, there are always a handful, that come to school relying on the breakfast, lunches, and snacks they know they can come to a library and obtain – and when I was an English teacher, definitely my classroom as well. So many educator experience this today and get no credit for this realization.
Seeing students growing up hungry, alone, isolated, abused, neglected, and more, day in day out, along with the stress and disrespect that are thrown to educators even more today, there is no way, no how, anyone could possible realize the role of a librarian, of an educator, of a counselor, even of an administrator unless you are actively doing this on a daily basis – I know some will disagree, and that is okay, but living this experience for over 24 years – and having family members and friends see me drag myself home some night – complaining when I hate complainers, whining when I hate whiners – the depth and reality of how little educational processes have come, and need to come, it sits with you well.
It is important for graduates to have a chance to sit down with their supports that enabled them to see their way to 12th grade to realize – exactly what the above quote points out.
The pandemic was a small slice of what havoc life can truly throw your way. I am grateful, after some personal losses way back when I first started in the educational field, I would 100% throw myself into my students, my field of study, my classrooms, in and out of buildings.
“But when does Harry get some time for Harry?!” – lol, yes, I have been told this many times and yet, only a small handful of individuals know that what keeps me happy, going, etc is having had these rough experiences and times, and some pretty great ones, and finding a niche and a step, for someone else to be able to find, and then find their way.
There is nothing worse than feeling that there is no way out, no new opportunity or experience that is in front of you, that can help express who you are, to yourself and to others. Yet, one of the most rewarding moments of an educator, as well as the most trying, is being beat down in a world that truly feels at times it is against every gain you try to obtain for yourself and for others and getting back up. Yet there is confidence and strength in numbers.
I look back and see I could have spent alot more time building a relationship with someone that would have resulted in a family, children, etc and I cannot say that is not a good thing. I joke around alot and lament when people get married and offer condolences, but deep down, I hope and know (they usually do) I am so extremely happy for them because I have grown up with them and I do expect nothing but the best for them. I will be honest, I truly suck at anything somewhat related to the idea of a relationship, I just simply suck at that whole area – and yet- isn’t the first step admitting? LOL – Yet, I have never once felt bad about this aspect because –
It has been AMAZING – to weigh the number of obstacles, daunting roadblocks, and dead ends that appear, only to realize they are mirage – and having a friend, an educator, a guide- show you with patience, and foresight (which to many see as blindness) just as ,myself, a very old 40ish person – looking back- how to put something aside for others helps you put something aside for yourself.
Classes of 2021- trust me on this, there have been many evenings where I have come home at night, and doing what I do, I work myself until my feet are numb, my back feels as if it will break, I begin to see stars, and I can no longer lift my arms, I throw the wishes, frustrations, and disappointments that others feel around me and experience into tasks, chores, lists, to-do’s on those especially bad days. Sometimes I am a sponge, I absorb much of it privately, and sometimes I even weep at night seeing the breakdown and struggles that many young students should not have to endure.
I am not the only one. You will have to believe me on this one, some of the strongest teachers you know have some of the hardest moments when they are by themselves, having to put on a game face when they want simply offer a hour of just chatting and talking with you because they want you to know, based on their years, if you believe and persevere, not even a pandemic can shake the energy you can bring to everything within your touch, sight and future.
Nothing can prevent you from performing acts of kindness and initiatives that no one asks you for.
Take with you the knowledge and keys of success individuals are willing to give you- this separates the individuals that will wait for something good to come to them- to the individuals that know good will come to them after seeking out how to provide that good to others in the process.
Yes, there are countless cheerleaders that are faculty, close friends, coaches, family that continually tell me “You are amazing!” You are relenetless and an energizer bunny!” “You are the best!: ” I so appreciate such comments but what it comes down to is this, and I have always known and believed this:
Without the struggles, the ability to confide in educators as soothsayers and fortune tellers of other futures, without the belief that you have the power to change a world that is often plagued by selfish, Me Me Me thinking,- with not realizing to have the ability to somehow benefit those around you and include them in on your successes – you truly will feel as if you are always in desolate country. Without you, I have no successes, no highlighted achievements, no truly success stories. Unless you are in the picture. Yes, Y O U.
So don’t doubt yourself or underestimate your ability to ride a funk out that you might find yourself in.
Surround yourself with individuals willing to let you dream every single day on how you can actively do something to improve and perfect, be it yourself, others around you, or the world ten years from now. What matters is your happiness, (and do not wait 40+years to realize this) – and your happiness coupled by bringing others along with you.
You will never regret this decision, and realize how wealthy you will become down the road if you simply trust your instincts to help others; as a result you will be helping and growing yourself, and being patient over these years as they occur.
I have never been so luck as due to having met literally family in the form of students, friends, colleagues, and faculty in this country and other countries. One thing is the same wherever you find yourself, Individuals have a higher threshhold of success if you are in their corner and rolemodel generosity to themselves and others.
There is so much to learn – I am excited more than ever for you – Please Decide to be Happy no matter where you find yourself. You have done that for me ten times over – Keep that faith!