I remember my first day of teaching as if it had happened yesterday and not 32 years ago. As my journey of teaching continues, there have been countless scenarios that have occurred that brought a smile to my face, made me cry, challenged me, taught me and humbled me. Those are the moments that inspire me each and every day I enter my classroom. About 13 years ago a very passionate and visionary principal I worked with started our year off by giving each teacher an empty box. She then went on to describe how it is up to use to fill that box with memories, moments in time that are like treasures not to be lost or forgotten. Ever since that time I have kept a memory box.
This box is filled with magical moments that I have been a part of in my teaching experiences with colleagues, students and/or their families. There are letters, cards, toys, photographs, trinkets, phone call summaries, thank you cards, trip mementoes, amazing accomplishments of individual students as well as class accomplishments. What goes into that box is anything that reminds me just how precious and important my efforts are and that no effort is wasted. I take the time to go and revisit my box in moments of self-doubt, challenging times or just when it seems that nothing is going right. After just a few moments of revisiting these wonderful experiences I can raise my head and once again forge on filled with confidence and positive energy. I look forward to the day (not too far in the future) when I can stop, reflect back on a career as I take the time to go through each item in my memory box, piece by piece, story by story.
I hope you take the time to stop and smell the roses in your everyday teaching and life. Make a pledge to start your memory box in 2017. Happy New Year!