My co-worker suggested I do a blog post about how I survived Hurricane Hermine. Honestly, I slept through most of it. The worst part for me was the lack of internet, cable, and cell service on Friday morning when I woke up. Well, that and my yoga studio is closed because they have no power. The majority of Tallahassee is still without electricity. That includes my school.
So, even though I wasn’t forced into survival mode this weekend, my friend’s suggestion resonated with me. I started pondering all that I have survived, both in my personal and professional life. I started listing it all in my head and it made me pretty proud.
15 Things I Survived…
- I survived 10 first days of school as a teacher. I survived one of those first days in the middle of the year, taking over a classroom. Those of you that have taken over mid-year know this might well be the most brutal type of first day. I survived only one of those first days with a note from my principal on my desk, left the night before, thanking me and wishing me luck.
- I survived hiking Pickett’s Charge twice. Once in the pouring rain climbing over fences and schlepping through the mud. Both in the summer. Blame my history obsession on that one!
- I continue to survive having a chronic illness. One that likes to wreak havoc on my body on hurricane weekends like this one One that occasionally reminds me I can’t do everything I want to do. Thirty years and counting of surviving it.
- I survived the NFL Experience when I was pregnant with my son. In freezing cold rain with a class of fifth graders. Outside all day. On a Saturday in January. In Florida. Where we don’t do cold and wear flip flops year-long. I survived the school bus trip with that class with no heat. All because I entered my students in an essay contest with a Super Bowl ticket prize. One of my students won the trip to the NFL Experience for the class with her essay. I will never forget that day. Or those kids.
- I survived an irate parent bum rushing my classroom. I survived telling the closest student to get up and go. That’s all I said. I survived the conversation with my students afterwards.
- I survived the transitions to new schools 5 times. I can’t count how many times I survived moving classrooms, moving the computers and classroom libraries and all my teacher “stuff.”
- I survived near liver failure after the birth of my son and the realization I would never have another child.
- I survived calling the Department of Children and Families about students at least five times. I survived going to see one of those students (then in foster care) at his new school and hearing his teacher say she was glad to get him out of her classroom for a while. I survived leaving him there.
- I survived building a museum school from the ground up with a phenomenal group of educators. I survived the Department of Education paperwork and rubrics and site visits that entailed. I survived curriculum writing for that school when I didn’t quite know what I was doing yet. I survived the community meetings I hosted. The student exhibition nights. I survived being a change agent.
- I survived countless new curriculum adoptions.
- I survived pedagogical shifts.
- I survived the move from classroom teacher to curriculum specialist. Then back to teacher and to Director of Teaching and Learning.
- I survived the student that asked everyday “Is this from the Smithsonian?” during our object-based learning activity, the activity we did at the beginning of each class. Maybe he had a point. I did pull from them a lot.
- I survived a school bomb threat while my students were at lunch. I survived getting them out of the cafeteria. I survived a few hours outside with them waiting for word on what was happening. I survived seeing my son across the field and not going to him because my students needed me with them. I survived knowing his teachers were there for him.
- I survived state testing 9 times as a teacher. I survived moving desks and signing paperwork and labeling seating charts for that state testing. I even survived computer-based state testing.
My list could go on and on. One day when I am having a day that beats me down, a day that makes me wonder if I will survive, I will look at this post. I might sing Gloria Gaynor when I do!
What have you survived?