Letter to: 2018 me.

Hi Steph,

It’s January 1st. I’ve a cup of a tea and I’m writing this letter to you. I know you’re going to be a bit stressed this year and you’re going to have to make some hard choices. Think back to this time last year: you hadn’t written your dissertation yet; you were on the SCITT course but you hadn’t started; you were blogging but not sure what direction you wanted to take it; you knew you had dreams you wanted to follow, but were unsure how to follow them. Now I’m here January 1st 2018 to tell you that putting your mind to things will get them done.

I’ve not bothererd with resolutions because we both know if you were going to change it, you’re stubborn enough to change it then and there. I may not have resolutions, but I do have things for you to think about, for those times you’re having a rough day. 

Keep following your dreams: it’s going to be hard. You’re going to have rubbish lessons, you’re also going to have brilliant lessons. There’s going to be times you don’t want to write that stupid 6 page lesson plan, and you don’t want to do this or that… but all of these things will ensure you achieve your dreams. You’ve come this far and you know this is what you’re meant to do. Teaching is the one thing you’re destined for. You’re born for this. So keep going. Don’t give up because it’s hard; KEEP GOING because it’s hard. It’s hard because it’s new. It’s scary because it’s new. It won’t be new or hard or scary once you’ve done it a few times. Trust me. I’ve done new and scary and hard things in 2017. They’re OK. You’re OK.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: you’re so scared of doing things wrong, or making a fool of yourself that you forget it’s OK to make mistakes. You’ve been told on more than one occasion that the kids aren’t afraid to make mistakes in your classroom, that they know it’s OK to ask questions and make errors and fix those errors, so be like them. Follow their example. Let the way they feel in your classroom be the way you feel in your life. 

Allow yourself time: whether that’s time to read because your head is so far in a textbook that you’ve forgotten what fiction is like; time to be sad because you’ve had a rubbish day or a rubbish lesson and you don’t know how to make it right; time to breathe because you’re frustrated and don’t know what the answer is. Whatever it is you need time for, allow yourself it. If it’s being happy then be happy. It’s so much easier to get lost in the bad things and the negative things… remember all those lovely things, all the positives. Don’t get bogged down in negative. It’s easier said than done, but try.

Keep blogging and reading: they’re your outlets. Blog because you want to. Blog because it makes you happy. Blog because you’ve found a place in the world where you can talk about whatever you want to talk about and people can choose to read or not. Read the books you want to read. Don’t read what others are reading if you don’t want to. Reading is your escape. It’s looking after your brain. Do what is good for looking after your brain. So what you read 112 books last year? If you only manage 5, that’s 5 more than 0. Blog about whatever you want. Those happy posts are good for the brain. Book reviews are excellent. Whatever it is you want to talk about, blog it. People will read or they won’t. It doesn’t really matter. 

Remember people are there to help: you’re stubborn and don’t ask for help. People will help. If it’s work things, ask the people you trust. If it’s blogging things, ask the people you trust to help. People will help. People are inherently good. They want to help. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. It’s great that you can do lots of these things, but doing EVERYTHING is only going to exhaust you. You’ve gotta let people help.

While we’re on the topic of other people, stop letting what other people (especially the ones who don’t know you or your story) say bother you: the people who love you and the people you trust may say things which hurt, but they’re probably only trying to help. 

Last thing… be kind. Always. Kindness costs nothing. Find time to be kind to yourself as well as others. You’re just as important as them. Kindness matters. 


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