Lately, we just can’t get enough of the good reads there are out in the world. It is amazing how a good book can speak life into you. Our lives as educators are always busy. Our minds are always running and our hearts are always full of love and worry. We need to be reminded of the little things. It is the little things that keep us going, give us hope and drive our purpose. Recently, listening to a book on women and burnout the author was talking about meaning. What gives your life meaning? That feels like a deep question, but an important one. The author explains how meaning is not found, but made. This spoke to us. So often we hear people talking about trying to find their “thing.” What is the “thing” that brings meaning into your life? What if you revised your thinking to, meaning is made?! Reflect, look, listen. Where do you put your energy, effort, heart and thoughts? That is your meaning. Now, look harder, look for the good, look for the purpose in that, look for the growth. That is the meaning you are making for yourself. Meaning helps us to thrive and to cope with obstacles in our lives. We all know there are always obstacles to overcome but your meaning, your hope, your purpose guide you through those times. For us, we make meaning through relationships. When we are stuck, frustrated or lost, we make meaning for ourselves by leaning into others and connecting to redirect our path. How do you make meaning?
In addition, Kasia had a birthday. And our students wrote notes and messages over hundreds of sticky notes. We covered as much of her office as we could. Her face was full of joy when she unlocked her door to find such sweet messages all over her walls and surfaces. As we took time to read them together, we were astonished at how much our students hear us. How they really listen. Below are pictures that K-6 students wrote. The motivation, positivity and love in each message filled us with so much hope. It has felt as though we are all broken. Us. Our students. Our families and community. The world. While we know struggle is a part of growth, remember you make your meaning. When you do, your meaning spreads. And with that, we heal. We learn to collaborate. We learn to disagree better, We learn to love and listen. We learn to connect and build relationships. We make change.
As you decompress and rest over the summer we hope you find some time to read some great books, fiction included because we all need to let our minds “get away.” We hope you are able to figure out how you make meaning. And we hope you connect with the people you love.