Wednesday 13 January 2010: Trees
The best piece of advice that I was ever given as a new teacher was this:
"Think of your classroom as individual trees, instead of an entire forest".
The message being this, when you look out at the 27 kids in your class, look at each one as a person, an individual, a young child with specific needs and emotions. Never lose the focus and never look at the 27 students as a cluster, a large group, or a mass of kids without any sort of identity. I taught for six years before taking a break to have my children and it was six years of learning, growth, and maturity for me. This message was essential in the beginning and was a very important concept to keep in mind with each and every new school year. Teaching is a tough profession. It is exhausting, the hours are long, the demands are through the roof.....but it is also extremely rewarding, satisfying, and a profession that I will always cherish and go back to. Teaching is about the children. It is about the "individual trees".
The same is true about life. When I was picking my son up from preschool today, I found myself with a little extra time so I took a little walk along this cluster of trees. I instantly thought of my favorite quote that I mentioned above. Amazing how these words spoken from my favorite principal while student teaching would make such an impact on my life. He spoke these words to me because he could see that I was indeed seeing the "trees" instead of the "forest". It may be the best professional compliment that I have ever been given. As I walked among the trees today, I began to think about these trees and how this message relates to the life that I am living today. The life as a full time Mother. The life as a passionate person who only wants to do the best that I can with the world in which I live. Today, I saw these trees as people.
Close personal relationships are crucial in my life. I pick my friends carefully now. In high school, my friends were people who I was raised with. My friends knew my family well. Friends who will always be close to my heart. In college, my range of friends was almost limitless. I had friends and friends of friends and friends of those friends. I loved the social networking that came with my college years and I still hold those meaningful friendships very dear to my heart. Then came grad school. I then moved into the teaching world and my colleagues became mentors. My mentors became friends. Mentors who drove out of town to attend my wedding. Mentors who helped me celebrate the birth of my babies at my showers. Now that I am home with my children, these friendships are my foundation. Each and every close friendship along the way in my life has helped to define me. God works in miraculous ways and I truly feel that I was meant to meet each of the people along the course of my life. Today, I saw all of these "trees" as the individual friends who are in my life, instead of just a "forest", or group of people. It is important to me that each of my friends know how special they are to me. It is important that they realize that I truly recognize each of their unique personalities.
Life gets busy and it gets hectic and days turn into weeks and years.......the good friends are the ones who jump the hurdles and move through life along side of you. The good friends are the ones who don't take you for granted. Good friends are the ones who care about you and take an interest in you. These friends are the ones who treat you like you are someone important, someone special that they want to share their life moments with and vice versa.
I call this blip "trees" because the more I think about this, the more important I think it is to really focus on what is good and essential in life. Friendships. Relationships. Having people in your corner who truly want to be there. This is what was running through my mind today as I walked through these trees. I saw my friends. I saw the people who support me and know me. The ones who check this site every single day just because they love me and they appreciate what it is that I have to say. This morning I woke up to find a whole message thread going on on my facebook page about my blips. My friend (from grad school), had been up for part of the night reading my blips because she couldn't sleep. She sent me a message about it and then another friend added her thoughts, and then it went from there. It touched me to say the least. Knowing that so many close friends are daily blip checkers. All of my family and extended family that take the time to check this out. That means more to me than they will ever know. Hearing my Mom telling me this morning that my yesterday's blip warmed her heart......words I will never forget.
I want all of my people, my important people to know how much I value them. I want my husband to know how much I cherish him (you're the best photography assistant that a girl could ask for, HA!) And I will not leave out the gratitude that I feel towards my blip friends. People who I do not know, but who care about my photos and the words that I say. Carol, Occhi Verdi, Beautiful Blue, and more, someday, hopefully I will have the opportunity to meet a few of you. Well, I could write a whole book right now but I think that I have focused my thoughts enough for today. All of these things running through my head, I am just so glad that this site gives me the opportunity to write them all down. My mind feels rested now. Writing has become therapeutic for me. Writing has become a new passion of mine. Thanks for reading, if you have made it to the very end of this journal......I appreciate your support!
"Trees".......the name of today's blip. Dedicated to all of my favorite people out there!