Saturday, September 5, 2020

Finding Contentment

It's been a rough week. 

But in the midst of chaos, joy comes from the little things... 

Source:  Google Images
And this is definitely going to be a year where we need to celebrate those little joys and those little moments of contentment.

Being content, whatever the circumstances, is a struggle for me.  I love teaching.  I am very passionate about figuring out the best way to reach my students.  And it's so very hard for me to do that while teaching in a pandemic.  The traditional definition of Best Practices isn't as important as just getting by each and every day.  I see this struggle in my students as they try to navigate the technology challenges.  I see it in my colleagues as they learn new methods of teaching and learning, of trying to be flexible and pivot on a dime.  I see it in my admin team as they try to balance the decision making for 15,000 people and knowing that any decision they make will be met with resistance.  I see the struggle in myself as I try to make meaningful connections with my students, as I try to grapple with decisions made without my input but affect my daily life, as I try to create a safe and healthy work environment, as I try to hold myself together each day and not let the anxiety win.

But it's hard.  I worry.  I analyze the data and it's not saying good things. 

So I struggle to find that contentment and peace.  And maybe you are there too.  Maybe you are struggling along with me.  That's okay - we can struggle together.

But what is important is not to get stuck there. 

I don't often bring my personal faith into my blog, but the verse above really speaks to me right now.  Paul was imprisoned when he wrote those words.  I can't imagine jail at that time was a very cushy place to be and yet Paul writes of finding contentment, no matter the circumstances.  Whether in need or in plenty, whether hungry or well-fed, he was able to be at peace. 

This year is going to have a very unique set of challenges for teachers, for students, for families, but we need to find ways to be at peace, to be content in our circumstances.

Maybe that contentment comes from the little sparks of joy - finding a good pen to write with, going out for some fresh air, making connections with people in non-traditional ways.

Every day, seek out that "One Good Thing" - that thing that sparks joy in your soul and brings you a hint of peace and hold on to it with every fiber of your being.  Collect those little moments in a journal or a tweet.  Celebrate those little victories.  Because if we focus on all the challenges and the chaos, we'll never find the joy and contentment that can happen in this "new normal"

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