Let’s have some real talk

I’ve been struggling to post to both Instagram and my blog recently. It’s not that I don’t have time or I’m short of ideas, but I’m just…overwhelmed. See, Elliot and I are in the process of moving so things have been a little out of wack recently. The beginning of the school year, of course, is always a little crazy too and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up for the last month. And just when I finally felt like I was caught up…I sprained my ankle at school last week.

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Needless to say it’s been a little wild around here recently. But you know what? It always is. My life is always busy so, what exactly has been holding me back?

That’s when I starting realizing that these things are not what is bothering me. Today I realized that it’s our current political climate that has really been getting to me recently. When I look back, it’s easy to see why:

  • The mass shooting in Vegas.
  • The devastation in Puerto Rico and the lack of support.
  • And most recently, Trump’s decision to allow employers to choose whether or not they include birth control in their health care.

It’s honestly just a lot and it’s extremely discouraging. Especially when all these things happen at once.

And then I think of my amazing class.

These kids, who have their whole lives ahead of them. Who are full of hope and endless potential. How do I explain their president to them? How do I explain the terrible things that happen in the world and worse, the “leaders” who are doing very little to make it better.

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So, this afternoon, I took a deep breath and started to write. I started to think of solutions to all of these problems weighing down on me. Suddenly, I was reminded of my mission statement posted outside my classroom door. It’s called “The Starfish Story” and it’s a beautiful read:

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Every time I read that story, a little lump forms in the back of my throat. I find myself struck with the beautiful message this story has to offer. Mostly because, it’s so true.

I know I’m just one person. I know I can’t change our nation overnight. I can’t fix all of our problems. But I can teach my students empathy and compassion. I can teach them to love all regardless of their differences. I can have discussions with friends and family where we all leave a little wiser and a little more open minded than before. I can go out and protest, sign petitions, call my senators, and vote. I can make my voice be heard in so many ways.

Yes, there are going to be times when I get discouraged and disheartened. But there’s always a way I can respond. And I need to remember to take a deep breath and write. It did wonders for me today. It’s so therapeutic to get down my thoughts and as a result, realize what actions I need to take.

So, here are my goals for the next week:

  1. Call my senators and make sure my voice is heard.
  2. Vote in my local primary election.
  3. Donate to reliable sources to support Puerto Rico and the victims of Vegas.
  4. Not only teach my students empathy, but show it every day.

Because, believe it or not, we’re more powerful than we think.

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