Six years ago today, I had one child, she was 1 1/2, just starting to talk, discovering the world. She still napped and the house would get so quiet, I was never quite sure what to do with myself. 6 years ago today, I was a 4th grade teacher, hoping that my next year would not be the year that I quit teaching. Hoping that these ideas I had to possibly be a better teacher would actually work out and maybe, just maybe, my students would hate school less. 6 years ago today, I googled how to start a blog and then wrote my very first post. It was all about how I was going to blog and I was excited but had no idea what I was really going to write about.
6 years ago today is just like today. I still don’t know what my next post will be about until the words hit me and I know I have to write them. I look back over the years and am so proud of all of the words that my students have allowed me to share. Of all of the stories, yes even of failure, and how they possibly have made the smallest difference not just to me, but perhaps to another educator.
6 years ago today, I felt crazy, like I was certainly alone with these thoughts and ideas. That I would probably lose my job if I didn’t quit first. Now, 6 years later, my life is fuller than I ever thought it would be and I know that I am not alone; there are many fighting for change in education, just like me. That our students voices can change and shape the way we teach, if only we start listening to them and then doing something about what they tell us.
I have never had a long-term plan when it came to this little blog. It continues to be my truth-o-meter, my way of releasing the thoughts that keep my up at night. My way of reminding myself that I am not perfect, but merely human, and that it is okay to not strive for perfection, but strive for connections instead. This blog keeps me honest so that I actually teach the way I write, and not just concoct fanciful notions of what great teachers do with fictitious students.
6 years of posts means that there are too many to count, too many to remember. But this one, Dear Arnold, is the one that I will never forget writing because it was the first time I cried as I wrote. The first time I thought I had no business sharing these thoughts yet had to get them out before my heart broke even more. It started me on a path of absolute honesty, even if it meant not painting myself in a good light. I am so glad Arnold pushed me that way.
6 years ago today I had no idea how changed my life would be. How a small summer idea, as always prompted by my husband, would lead me down a different path than the one I had set out on. I am so grateful to this space, to the small act of courage it took for me to hit publish. Not because it might have made a difference to others, but because it made the biggest difference to me.
PS: I sometimes get asked about the significance of the name behind the blog. I am here to unfortunately say that it was not because I had thought of how it would allude to time, representing the journey I was about to begin. That would have been so wonderful it it was the truth. The real story is rather boring because it simply alluded to the fact that I was a 4th grade teacher at the time, thus “Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension” it was.