There's a lot of talk about tribe these days. Last year I relied on mine. I was in a place of frustration and doubt, that in my eyes, overshadowed my 21 years of experience.
When I couldn't see the forest for the trees, my tribe offered perspective.
When I needed to vent, they listened.
When I needed to cry, they let me and hugged on me as well.
But they never left me as is.
They couldn't alter my situation or manipulate my circumstances, but they repeatedly spoke truth into my life, that at the time was nearly impossible to recognize on my own.
I remember a particular poignant and inspiring moment about halfway through the school year when my cousin Laurie offered me a completely different perspective to consider. It didn't change my circumstances, but it began a gradual work of healing in my heart and mind. Following this conversation, maybe within a month's time, I woke one morning after another frustrating classroom situation to a revelation of my own. It felt like a breath of fresh air. Again, my situation didn't change, but my burden felt lighter. Without a tribe that was offering me a different outlook, I doubt I would have been in the right place to receive my own revelation in a time when I needed it the most.
I told a group of new teachers at an orientation meeting this Fall to find their tribe. The same advice could be offered to teachers with countless years of experience. We must all find our people. Who are yours?