Change...Will Do You Good!
2018 has definitely been a year of ups and downs for us at the Peterson household. We've experienced a ton of change this year, both positive and negative, and each experience has reminded us how much we have to be thankful for!
The changes started to hit hard when I (Adam) made the decision to leave the classroom after 13 years in the same Kindergarten room. This was a decision that brought us closer together as we hashed out every possible (good and bad) situation through many late night talks, number crunching, and discussions with family and friends. In the end, taking this leap of faith prevailed, and I have been lucky to create some awesome relationships with teachers across the country through my workshops and social media outlets. While never questioning the decision, there was one conversation that proved to me that the decision I made was definitely the right one. In August, I was speaking to the Cleveland Metro School District Pre-K teachers at their start of the year institute. After my keynote talk, a woman approached me with tears in her eyes. I do tend to go off on tangents in my talks and was worried I had told a story that offended her in some way. So, as I began my apology for possibly doing so she interrupted me and simply said, "Your words were exactly what I needed to hear today." WOW! That was awesome! She went on to tell me that that she was nearing retirement and was questioning whether or not she really wanted to continue teaching. But, after hearing my keynote talk on positivity and fun in the classroom, she quickly realized that she was doing what she was meant to do. I responded with the same words. "Your comment was EXACTLY what I needed to hear!" You see, though I had never questioned my decision to leave the classroom, this one simple comment was the confirmation I had been hoping for to prove that I did the right thing. My goal from the start with this change was simple. If I can get teachers to want to do what I did for the last 13 years, then I will feel successful. Success - 1, Failure - 0. Change...will do you good.
The changes kept coming in the summer months as I (Trisha) stepped out of my comfort zone as a classroom teacher of 2nd grade students and stepped onto the stage with Adam as a teacher of teachers! In July, we began our journey as co-presenters at the SDE National Conference in Las Vegas. I had to overcome a GIANT fear and presented a session with Adam in front of a packed house at the Venetian! With a room full of 100+ educators from all over the world, we proudly shared our story of creating a family-like atmosphere in the classroom. Our stories and ideas inspired more people than I had ever imagined, and we have been asked to give our talk again this summer at the same conference! Now, an even BIGGER change! I have been invited to speak on my own at the National Conference in the 2nd grade strand. EEEK!!!!! While I'm nervous to do this on my own, I am even more excited to share my love of games in the classroom with passionate educators on a world-wide stage! Change...will do you good.
The latest changes have come to us as a whole family. From late September to early December our family has gone through more than we ever have before. Starting with illness and food poisoning, we then moved on to our first broken bone when our daughter broke her elbow playing basketball. Those were just minor setbacks as our family then faced our hardest months ever. Adam's mom was hospitalized for a couple weeks and gave us a scare, but she's doing great now. We then each lost our last living grandpas within two weeks of each other. That was a change in our family that we weren't ready for and was a rough couple weeks for all of us. But again, it was a change that brought us closer together as a family and even reconnected us with some family members we hadn't spent much time with in the previous years. Change...will do you good.
So, as 2018 comes to a close we encourage you to accept, embrace, and evaluate all the change that comes your way in 2019! As educators you know that things are constantly changing with your job, your students, their families, and yours. You can either complain about those changes, or make those changes work for YOU! We suggest the latter. As you head back to your classrooms to begin the next half of the school year, we wish you all the best! Remember that to some of these students, seeing you again will be the best part of their break!
You have a few more months to make this school year the BEST YEAR EVER! Take risks, step out of your comfort zone, accept what you cannot control, and believe that CHANGE...WILL DO YOU GOOD!
Happy New Year, and THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT!
- Adam and Trisha