I've had lots of reminders lately. Reminders about students, reminders about personalities, reminders that it takes effort to stay on top of my game. I've been reminded (kindly) about things I've forgotten, been reminded by the looks of those I care about that they need me, reminded that it's time for this or time for that. Reminders are constant it seems. Don't you find yourself saying, "Remind me to ..." or "Hey, don't let me forget to..."
Yesterday, one of our newest Penngrove teachers reminded me that I hadn't blogged in awhile. I loved that. I appreciated that she noticed, and it made me want to do better. A reminder.
Tonight I am reminded of several things. It's the eve before I begin the journey known as #GTAMTV. For those of you who aren't familiar with the hashtag, #GTAMTV is the Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View, CA. Here I sit, in my hotel room with my colleague and buddy, Catina Haugen, and I'm reminded of a feeling I once knew so well when I was in school. There are so many unknowns and if I'm quiet and still for long enough, they wash over me. Where will my classroom be? Will my classmates like me? What time should I leave to get there on time? What should I wear? Will my teacher be nice? Will I know what to do? What if I don't "get" something? How will I know I did something right? Am I going to fit in? If I get confused, should I ask for help? These are all reminders. Reminders that we shouldn't take for granted as educators. Not this school year, or ever. I'm a 31 year old principal, who needs assurance, comfort, friendship, love, warmth, and security. And I can't help but be reminded of the magnitude at which my students must crave those exact things. I am reminded.
Additionally, I am still struggling personally with the fact that I am a part of this cohort of incredible educators from around the globe. I know quite a few people who applied to be a part of this group. People who inspire me, who make me better at my job, people who I want to learn from each and every day, but people who aren't with us this time around. I'm reminded that we don't always get what we want in life. And it feels hard when we don't see the whole picture in the moment. There will be many things I reach for, opportunities I strive to accomplish, that just won't work out for me. This week, I'm grateful that this experience is real, but I am reminded that it won't always be so easy. In that, I find reality, hope, and trust. I'm reminded that each opportunity is a gift.
Finally, I am reminded about the journey I have been on for the past year. A year ago, I had just attended my first Google Summit. I was starting my second year as a principal and wasn't exactly sure what CUE, GTA, GAFE, G+ and all of this even stood for. (I might be slightly exaggerating but barely.) Tonight, I am reminded of the people who have invested in me over the past twelve months. Those who invited me to events, asked me to present, encouraged me to lead my teachers with reckless abandon, those who approved of risk taking along the way. And I can't help but be so full of love for each of those moments in time that added up to this evening before #GTAMTV.
I am reminded.