This past week I scrolling through my Twitter feed & I came across this Tweet by Katie Hurley (@katiefhurley) and I thought it was great. Katie reminds us all that it’s okay for our students to feel a wide array of emotions as they enter this school year–often, emotions that don’t seem to fit together. This tweet really resonated with me and it immediately got me thinking about my own emotions and feelings as I return to the classroom this upcoming year after two years as a TOSA.
I am one of those people that tends to see things in black and white too often–especially when it comes to teaching and my own practices and this message from Katie really spoke to me personally. As my vacation in Emerald Isle drew to a close last week, my mind started drifting towards the end of summer, the beginning of the school year and what it will be like to be back in the classroom. I could feel myself starting to get nervous about the unknown and it sent my over-active brain into hyperdrive!
As I reflected upon the tweet, I was reminded of Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key. In his book, Holiday talks of a reflection from Marcus Aurelius in which he reminds us to be like the rock in the crashing ocean. Like the rock, the goal is to be unmoved by the chaos that surrounds us–however, that doesn’t mean that we will not be affected by our circumstances. While we aren’t able to control the events that happen to us (and sometimes we can’t even control how we feel about those events), we are able to control how we respond to them.
To me, this is why the tweet resonates so much–too often I try to ignore the negative feelings in order to feel better–and it’s simply not possible to do. Like Rick Alexander says in his 21 Maxims for 2021, “if we transcend, we must include.” In order to experience any growth as a person or an educator, it’s important to not ignore those negative feelings–they are part of who we are, and that’s okay. So, like Katie says, it’s okay to be happy, excited and nervous and stressed all at once as this school year starts–I know I am!