As my summer wraps up, I'm left to reflect on what I've learned- which is to being thankful for the moments we are given, each one of them. So these are my top 2014 Life Lessons learned this Summer:
Grow your zones of comfort; push your boundaries... Being scared to do something is ok... normal, even; but when that fear overpowers your will to step out of the boundaries you set for yourself, you begin to limit your own effectiveness, defeating your power of growth.
Celebrate the moments of life; even in death... The mom of one of our students unexpectedly died toward the beginning of the summer. My heart ached for this young man; losing his mom at such a young age. My son was also a classmate of his this school year, so we (my son and I) attended the funeral for his mother. It was a beautiful service, but also a reminder that the kids we serve are not only our kids from August through May. Our lives are forever intertwined, and our support for them is so much more than a regular 8-5 kind of job.
Cherish each moment; live your day to its fullest... As stated above, we never know how much time we will be given and that is true for the young, as much as the old. This summer our school lost one of its rising 5th graders in a tragic accident. While I had not had the opportunity to teach this young girl, I had the privilege of hearing countless stories of how she loved life- loved laughing, fishing, going on adventures, and "wasn't afraid of anything." She was known for her vivacious smile and excitement for life. May we, too, celebrate each moment in the same way.
Relish new beginnings; they equal growth... I also had the awesome opportunity to attend the wedding of one of my friends, whom I teach with! I sincerely enjoyed seeing all of her planning and excitement fulfilled as her dreams came true. I'm reminded that we should also relish in new beginnings because this equals growth... and growth is good.
Take time for family and friends; your devices, tools, and resources will be waiting... At the end of the day I've tried to do my best with not being as "electronically" connected and instead "presently" connected during these summer months with my family and friends. What I've learned is that while there always seems to be an urgency and fast-paced sense to things in the Edtech realm, those things are still there, waiting, when you pick them back up.
I hope that you're gearing back up for a great school year, but also hope that you've stopped long enough to enjoy your summer as well!