Has this ever happened to you? You’re on the verge of sleep, and your sure that you are just about to succumb to some well deserved REM and… BOOM. A stroke of brilliance hits and it’s certain your not going to find that blissful precipice to sleep for a while again.
I know, I know. Your dying to know what my stroke of brilliance was, right?
Around 12 in the morning it hit me just how I was going to get through this month of slice of life with enough material to write about, PICTURES! Save the weekends (and the first two days of this month) I’ll be featuring a picture at the top of each day that has been taken by one of my students from around our school. These pictures will serve as my inspiration for the days writing.
We began this strategy today. As you can see at the tippy-top of today my student took a picture of a project we do at the beginning of the year. In order to get to know each other better we fill out a big poster. In my first year of teaching I completed this assignment with my students (and then promptly laminated it so I didn’t have to re-do it for the next 25 years).
As I reviewed it in the students photo I realized it’s a testament to my…shall we say, consistency. Five years later most of it remains the same.
- Cheese Cake is still my favorite.
- I still love superhero movies.
- One of the most inspiring people I know is my grandmother.
And the list goes on.
Another thing occurred to me as I read. I can’t for the life of me, wrap my head around the fact that this poster is FIVE years old! It’s kind of wigging me out, to be totally honest.
Some mornings I wake up and I feel so old that I have to lie there for a few extra minutes to do the math and remind myself what the next birthday is I have coming up. Once, not too long ago I was asked how old I was and I had to stop and think about it.
“Twenty-seven,” I announced with half hearted assurance.
They nodded cordially and started to respond.
I interrupted, thrusting out my hand and shaking my head. “No, No. Wait, that’s not right. I’m 28.”
My hand withdrew and the person with whom I was conferring could see the look of consternation hovering in my features and patiently waited for me to do the math, subtracting 1987 from 2016 (if only they’d known how truly slow I am at math, they would have given up on the conversation and walked away.)
My brow furrowed deeper in concentration, “Hang on a sec, the math say’s I’m 29.” (I think to myself, I really didn’t think I was there yet. Surely, that can’t be right.) Finally I conclude, “You know what, don’t trust me. You should call Rachael or Bethany and ask them, they’ll know how old I am.”
Wether or not I can remember my birthday, I never believe how old I actually am once it’s resolved. I often think of the quote from the meme above, “That horrifying moment when your looking for an adult, then realize you’re an adult.So you look for an older adult, someone successfully adulting…an adultier adult.” This surfaced on Facebook somewhere amidst my first year of teaching. I remember reading it and thinking (hyperbolicly), “it’s like they can read my soul.”
It pretty much summed up that first year as a teacher. I think I spent more time looking over my shoulder searching for the “adultier adult” to tell me what to do next, than I did successfully making my own decisions.
But in this past half decade I’ve learned that life, adulthood, teaching all have a common theme. You have to carve your own path. That first year taught me that those who are more “successfully adulting” are those who strike out and do it themselves.
- Life taught me, you never know what to expect.
- Adulthood taught me, because I don’t know what to expect, I’m going to mess up… A LOT.
- Teaching taught me, that’s okay to mess up…A LOT, as long as I learn my lesson from it.
And just look at me now, adulting all over the place! (On most days, anyway.)