My favorite new program, Animation-Ish, from my friends at FableVision, has a great feature...
A button called, "Inspire Me." When a person is working in the program, they can click on the winged lightbulb and a video featuring Peter H. Reynolds pops up with a short clip with inspiring words or an idea for an animation. This morning, as I am packing away my office and room away for the summer, I am wishing that I had a button like that. It's hard to pack up everything that makes my office feel a little like home and shove it away for two months. Maybe Peter could pop up on a screen in my office and give me the motivation I need to finish the school year (tomorrow at 10 a.m.) and then I could take some time off to get recharged for next year.
So many great things have happened in this last year....along with some struggles. My students were asked to sing the National Anthem at the Iowa Girls State Volleyball Tournament, I was asked to create some lesson plans for Animation-Ish, and at the same time, I had one of the least respectful high school choruses during the first semester. After twenty-two years in the classroom, I understand that everything is cyclical. Good classes come and go. That special kid that makes every day worth teaching will graduate and another will morph into his or her place.
Although this year has been a difficult one for me, I know that in the fall a great group of inspirations will walk through the door of my classroom and start challenging me, inspiring me, and demanding me to be a great teacher. Although I have NO control over what happens outside of room 108, what happens inside is part of my Journey and I control that. SUre, some of the things that happen are still not under my control, but at the very least, I control the way I handle the things that happen. Like the little boy in the North Star book by Peter H. Reynolds, I will follow my path toward my own personal star. I will try to help the kids in my room along their path with as much love and gentle pushing as is necessary.
So, I must find my own inspirations for packing up today... I must get things put away and start the anticipation, the dreaming, and get a firm grasp on hope for next year. This summer I can look forward to personal inspiration with Peter H. Reynolds at NECC and hanging out with my pals in San Antonio. Best of all, I can spend a lot of time imagining new ways to use Animation-Ish and I can hit that "Inspire me" button as many times as I like!