One of the things I read in my assignment from Unbreakable was the idea of having a mantra; something that acknowledges the challenges that you face but also reminds you of all of the positive things that you've got going on.
Even thought it wasn't remotely part of the assignment, I decided to go ahead and write my own mantra. While Watson included one in her book that was very good and definitely applied, I just felt it was important to put my own spin on it. She recommends reading it every day, and I'm thinking about hanging it on the wall next to my desk after I finish all the final touches. But for right now, here's the first draft of my mantra. What will yours say?
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 7 years old. I always pictured myself growing up, getting married, teaching kids, and having kids of my own. While my picture looks very different than I expected, one thing is true. I have worked extremely hard for all that I accomplished, and I'm proud of myself for who I am today.
Sometimes it seems like there are so many things out of my control, and a lot of them are. But I control how I decide to react to all of those things. Professionally I must always put my kids first and be present for them. For some, I am the most positive influence they have in their life, and they depend upon me to be in the moment with them. I will continue to do the best I can (which may not be perfect, but it's still pretty darn good) for each of them. I will try my best to communicate with their parents to show them how much their children accomplish and how much potential they have.
I'll never get away from giving tests or covering some of this ridiculous curriculum, but I do have the power to help my kids have all of the tools they need to feel like they can do their best. I'll make sure my kids know exactly how much I care about them as people, not as test scores.
And finally, but most importantly, I respect and care for myself. I am strong. I finished the Gretna Gritty! It's okay to be afraid, but I can't let fear keep me from trying new things that have always had the excuse, "That looks like fun, but...." I will be happy. I will be healthy. I have the power to do all of these things.