You matter.

This school year has been so hard for me to stay on top of being ME. I'm usually very happy, love to create new ideas at school, love creating things with my kiddos, change my door for any new theme, decorate the classroom and so on...

Not this year.

Lately, I've been feeling like "What's the point?"

Well, what is the point?

The last few years, it seems as though education has gotten so much tougher. I've only been teaching 8 years, but it was not this way when I began. I can only imagine how glorious it was years and years ago.

Parents blame us for everything. Kids aren't truthful. Politics run everything about how our school runs. Administration doesn't have a clue what we actually do. Outsiders think we play all day. Kids don't get enough recess. Aides are being laid off and we desperately need all the extra help in our classrooms. Special education is busting at the seams and everyone is screaming inclusion with ZERO help.

What's the point in going the extra mile? Who is it helping?

Me.

You know why it helps me? Because I matter. You matter.



I stopped doing what made me happy this year and I've been awfully grumpy most of the school year. I decided this morning that all of that needed to change. I have to live for me. I can't magically change personalities in my classroom. I can't change what families I am blessed with. I definitely have zero control over politics and things beyond my control.

However, I do control me. I have to work every day for me. I have to make me happy. I have to remember that I matter. Most of the time, I refuse to do things because of what others may do or think. If I think my kids won't get a craft or special activity that I LOVE to do, I've just skipped it. No longer happening.

I matter. You matter. If you're having a tough year, tough month, or just a tough week - just remember at the end of the day, YOU MATTER. Close your door and do what makes you happy. I actually do what I want with my door OPEN, but I know we don't all have that luxury.

I forgot that it should be all about me. I know what's best for my classroom no matter what anyone else says. My very small voice may not reach the ears of the movers and shakers in education, but it will at least impact twenty something students this year.

Head to school tomorrow with those two words in the back of your mind.

YOU. MATTER.

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French Lick Blogger Retreat

Hey friends! Last week, I got a chance to go to a very magical and inspiring place...


YOU GUYS! If you've never been to a meetup, this is one that was AMAZING. I've been to a few different ones over the years, but this is by far the BEST one yet. Let me start off by saying, I drove. WHAT was I thinking? I live at the very bottom of Alabama and this retreat is in Indiana. So yeah, about a 9 hour and some change of a drive.

Well, I drove about 5 hours one night to a friend's house and drove the rest Friday morning. It gave me A LOT of time to reflect on my current work situation. It also gave me a much needed break away from my kiddos, which I desperately needed.


When I got there, I was a few hours early so I hit the casino. My roomies finally arrived and I was thrilled! We went to the Power Plant and ate and then headed over to the "light show" at West Baden. The lobby is beautiful there. We hung out for a while with some other friends and then headed back over to our hotel.

The next day was PURE awesomeness from start to finish.


These ladies are the reason we had such a great weekend! Holly Ehle is a phenomenal person and so giving! It showed when she spoke, when she came around to talk to us and in the entire weekend. I am so thankful to have been able to make this meet-up and it's because of her that it was possible! KUDOS to all of you.

I roomed with Kim Coker from I Teach Stem, Brittany from Tickled Pink in Primary and Maja from Kooky Kinders, but she was at another table with her coworkers! Love these ladies!


After making the "theme" letters for the weekend, we had a teacher tool gift swap by grade level and round table sessions.
My favorite from the entire weekend! We are so capable of making anything happen if we just put our minds to it. If you have the passion, you can make it happen.

I was lucky enough that I got to host a round table with Brittany. :-( My blogging bestie Melissa was supposed to come and couldn't so I got to fill in for her. We talked about collab blogging. We have an AMAZING blog over at The Elementary Entourage. I heard there were some really great discussions happening at other tables as well.



There was TONS of swag that we got to take home. Here's a few pics of them.


I saw Katie post this picture earlier in the day and thought, "OOOOOH, I want that Osmo!" GUESS WHO TOOK IT HOME? ME! I was so excited to win it.

Our first group photo! Just look at all these amazing educators and inspiring people. They're a LOT of fun as well. What I love about this picture is that every last one of these people didn't make me feel awkward or weird to be there. I don't like large groups of people, but I felt very comfortable here with all of them.

Saturday night is where all the memories happened. Some I won't ever share or I'll be in a lot of trouble... hehehe.



There was a flash mob which was AWESOME.



GREG is still cracking with UP with that outfit. So flipping funny!

Two of my favorite people, Vera and Erica! Love them so and I can't wait to see them in Orlando this summer.

HAHAHAHA! I swear I have a picture just like this from Vegas of Chad looking at me like this. He probably thinks I am CRAZY! There is no telling what I was saying.



And our goodbye picture! Sadness, but such a great weekend.



Check out the rest of the blog posts AND enter to win some swag for yourself. Make sure to tell all your teaching buddies about this awesome giveaway. There is TONS of sponsors to thank!


An InLinkz Link-up

Thanks so much to all these amazing sponsors!

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