I can't tell if I am standing on cliff's edge or mid-climb.
As my last few posts make perfectly clear, I have been struggling with motivation and apathy this year. Creating content, even just planning for my own lessons, has been a chore that frankly kept getting pushed down the list. The bell ringers I created, for instance, were meant to be finished by the start of the year, but were only completed last month.
However, in the last 30 hours, I have found within myself a sudden shift.
After a long time feeling much the opposite, I am feeling inspired again! And the universe seems to be feeding it. Yesterday, I had a moment of sheer kismet - where timing and circumstance perfectly aligned - that I'd like to share.
As I was doing my morning journaling - nothing fancy, just my usual daily stuff - I was struck with the idea to create interactive YouTube videos and create coordinating note sheets to support my students and new AP Language teachers. I stopped mid-thought in my journal to jot down the concept. It felt like a little jolt of electricity to have an idea again!
Then, fate stepped in when I sat down to get some work done later that day. Earlier this month, I started completing a grad course. (The last one to max out my salary!). As I moved through the material - a very well designed PD option by Darcy Bakkegaard - I was revisiting some tools. In particular, Canva.
I've used Canva before (...its how I made my sick phone background), but as I opened the application, I was reminded of the idea I had that morning. Canva was the perfect place to start in creating engaging YouTube content.
Needless to say... I became obsess. (My coworkers call this "Going Steph" on something). I spent hours yesterday creating a new video, based on old PowerPoints I'd been using. It didn't feel like work; it felt creative and exhilarating.
Then... fate struck again!
Thread, the new social media platform, launched. I honestly couldn't believe my luck (especially since I had heard nothing about it). I abandoned Twitter about a year ago - not that I was all that good at it - for obvious, billionaire reasons. Thread opened up the professional learning community for me again that once upon a time, allowed me to share my materials, help other teachers, and just connect. The excitement circulating the app last night was wholly exciting.
As all these stars aligned: the idea, Canva, Thread, I was reminded that I do have goals left to achieve.
That may sound dumb... I'll explain.
Having landed my desired position at work (instructional coaching alongside teaching), I'd run up against a wall professionally. I was exactly where I wanted to be as an educator, so I had been wallowing in "What's next?" and "Where do I go from here?" Yesterday, reminded me of all the places I still have yet to go professionally and all the opportunities that still lie before me.
Call me naïve, but it was invigorating. And I'm grateful for it.
So today, I am off to the races, writing up plans and setting goals to get closer to what I ultimately want. It feels like coming back from the dead, to be honest.
Now, I am a firm believer in respecting your boundaries as a teacher and keeping summer sacred, so please don't take this as a flex or some humble brag about how hard I am working. For the first 9 years of my career, I found joy in creation, professional learning, and planning new material during the summer. It wasn't work - it was fun. Losing that after COVID was a deeply sad loss for me. And if I'm honest, I was afraid that joy would never return.
But here it is, in my lap. And I'm really, really excited.
I just hope its a boost on my professional climb, not an cliff I'm about to fall from.