About a year and a half ago I was really struggling with my job. I love teaching, but I was feeling challenged by students with difficult behaviors, unsupportive parents and absentee administrators. I was deeply saddened because I didn’t feel like I was making a difference which is the reason that I became a teacher. I was starting to question by abilities as an educator and my quality as a person, I was crying every single day after school.
I wasn’t sure what to do. One day I was on Facebook and this woman I knew electronically through the alumni board of a mentoring program we were both on posted a link to her blog. I clicked on it and was in tears reading her stories that told of various moments of beauty, both small and big. They deeply resonated with me, I remember thinking, “I want to feel those moments again”. I found out that this woman was also a fourth grade teacher so I decided to e-mail this person I’d never officially met and unload all my work worries to her in a 6 paragraph e-mail.
She responded with such empathy and warmth, offering suggestions and asking questions. We e-mailed back and forth for a few months and her advice gave me a renewed sense of purpose. She encouraged me to not think of my days as days, but more like tiny little moments strung together. I tried this out day by day and slowly I felt better able to meet the challenges and look for the small victories in each moment. Whether it was a child saying, “Thank you” or a student reading a page in a chapter book all by themselves I slowly started to feel tiny moments of making a difference, that beauty my e-mail mentor had blogged about. At one point a few months later I’d e-mailed her to see how she was doing and she explained that she’d been experiencing some challenges and then she said, “Life isn’t easy, but it is always beautiful”.
I thought that sentence alone was beautiful, but somehow I didn’t fully understand it. I tend to get wrapped up in challenging moments and sometimes struggle to see the light in the dark. I decided then that I would make an effort to look for the beauty in difficult moments. So here I am, more than a year and a half later amazed by how I have found many instances of small beauty all around me. I’ve decided to chronicle my discoveries and experiences here in hopes that others will laugh, cry, or smile at some stories and maybe even feel inspired to look for more of the beautiful, tiny moments in each day.