Teachers

What do we do now?

Breathe, breathe, and then take one full deep breath…now let’s talk about it. It was a year like no other! It took us to places that, mentally and physically we had never gone before. In other words… ya’ll, it was a hot mess and I mean hotter and messier than any other year before. Honestly, after growing up in an impoverished neighborhood, in a dysfunctional household with abuse, struggling to find my own identity being from a mixed background and the rest that life and teaching has thrown at me…including all the typical challenges of being in the classroom (Mounting documentation, testing expectations and bad behavior to name a few) I really didn’t think anything else could rattle my state of mind—enter pandemic teaching! This on top of everything else was an enormous burden to bear.

So….now what? After all of that, we have to know that we are the strongest, most tenacious people on earth. Now, it’s time to re-group, re-connect and re-focus on what we know, and what we do best!

First and foremost…my plan is to have a plan for my own well-being. Real, for real talk ya’ll–I had no sustainable plan last year. All my normal stuff didn’t work any more. My exercise plan was out the window, my stretching and meditating was minimal, and I was just flat out running on left over stress from the previous day. I took a beating from Covid, exhaustion, zoom and climbing expectations all at the same time. Somehow I made it to May, on a wing and a dwindling prayer!

The Mrs. Bowers of old, which included perky positivity and undying committment to being the light was growing dimmer and dimmer each day. I had to decide if I was going to allow my light to continue going out, or was I going to find a new stronger flame. It took some real reflection on what I needed to do to get back what I once had. Here’s some things I added in this summer:

A daily stretch routine

Daily time in the pool/hot tub (Relaxing and therapeutic)

Revamping of my diet

Asking for help from my family (This is a big change for me–so I”m asking for back rubs and foot massages now)

In addition to all of that, I reflected back on the things I loved about being a teacher. I literally wrote a list of things and they made me smile. I had to remind myself of what God has called me to do, and remember that he has equipped me to do it! Here’s my list:

I get to be a part of a professional community in which I am proud to belong

I get to create a positive subculture within my classroom that shapes minds and attitudes

I get to have visits from former students who thank me for helping them

I get to be a part of the solution for education in our country

I get to have a reliable income that helps support my family

I get to have some time for my family both during the year and the summer

I get to have healthcare for myself and my family

I get to connect with, encourage and learn from my colleagues who are in the trenches with me

These are some things that stood out to me, and I decided I would write them down, print them and I will post them near my desk at school as a reminder of what I am grateful for.

So, I believe I am ready now, to get back in the fight for future of our kids…and now with an even brighter flame! After being refreshed over the summer and having a plan for the year, I know exactly what I will do.

Oh, and I always read my favorite motivational books and watch inspiring movies before school starts, for fun and a reset on my mindset. (Will be a later post or tweet). Finally, I always call my middle school teacher the weekend before school. She is amazing and still encourages me in her own sweet way!

Here’s to an incredible start to your year, and I hope you all can find your flame and keep it burning for yourself and all others to see all year long!

Please let me know what you did to refresh this summer, or what you would add to your list of what you love about being a teacher!

Blessings ya’ll!

–MLB

Survive, Thrive and Stay Alive

Teachers

Relentless–no turning back!

“What are we going to do, the water is rising and the only way out is up.” This is what the main character said as he and eight other passengers on a cruise ship stared at a dismal situation. A random tidal wave had hit their ship and they were all caught off guard in a state of panic. A former navy soldier took charge and began a climb to the top of the ship. He knew he had to make it to the top in order to survive. As they all climbed, it was obstable after obstacle to continue on their journey. There were cabin fires, falling beams and flash floods on their way to the top. However, you could tell that navy soldier has one thing on his mind, “No turning back!”

Friends, we must have the same thing on our minds as we walk into our buildings this morning. No matter what we face, whether it be an angry parent, a disruptive student or an uncooperative co-worker, we must continue on our journey. Let no obstacle stop you from staying focused on the good that you are doing. Meditate on this word today:

Hebrews 10:36: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Be relentless friends! There is a much bigger picture at the top of the ship that you are climbing, than what you can see! Keep climbing!

In Love,

MLB

Daily Walk, Poems

The Amazing You!

animal beautiful bird blue
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes things just hit me and I immediately start writing…this is what happened with this poem. I was driving down the highway and I was thinking about how we get bombarded with so much negativity. As soon as I got to a spot where I could write, I started writing these words. So this is my humble attempt of facing some of that negativity you might hear with a little positivity. Here it is, and it’s called….

The Amazing You

Only you have your eyes

Only you have your nose

Only you have what God gave you from your head to your toes

And although you can’t fully fathom all that he has done

There is an abundance within you that will one day shine through

Then you will see the winner inside to whom you must always remain true

Much Love,

Michelle L. Bowers