I have been in a funk lately. I have been questioning my core values and beliefs. This is an interesting thing because at the same time I am questioning myself, I have never felt more secure in who I am as a person.

There is one person who has prompted this funk, this step back into myself. It’s a funny and ironic thing that I’ve given this person so much power over my state of mind; this person doesn’t know their own mind, yet their actions have made me pause and stumble.

Someone lately told me they’ve never met a teacher who didn’t think they were pretty great. I don’t agree with that person; they are a good example of someone who went to school and hated it but never found out the struggle that goes on when the classroom empties and the teacher is left alone. As a teacher, I second-guess myself more than not. I always have questions in my head: How do I get better? How will I be better tomorrow? What can I do differently to connect with that student?

How do I view myself as a teacher? I make connections. I thrive off the connections I have with my students; their successes and struggles hit me also. The connections I make with my students transcend time and miles. This is true not because of what I taught them but because of how I made them feel while they were a part of my classroom. They return. They check in with me. They matter, and the work I do is validated.

How do I view myself as a mother? I look at my own children. On one day I feel like I might just get this mothering thing right… my children are thoughtful, respectful, funny, reflective. They think big thoughts. They love heart-forward. These are the days I feel validated as a mother. Of course, there are other days: days when I don’t know what to say to ease the tears, days when I just need an hour of time where I’m not being touched or spoken to, days when I feel like everything I say is wrong and is going to scar them for life. Those days teach me just as much as the others… those days keep me looking for what’s right, asking what lasting marks I am making in the memories of my children, wondering what type of adults they will be in this messed up world.

So, to the person who prompted this funk, thank you. Maybe it was time to pause, reflect, redirect, and renew. In time, perhaps you will see the damage you have caused; in time, perhaps you won’t. Either way, I thank you. Your actions have made me re-evaluate my motivations and my beliefs, and I can walk forward knowing I’m not perfect, but I believe I’ve never done you wrong. I’m still learning. I hope you will continue to learn with your eyes open.

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