Where is the Silver Lining?

clouds-silver-liningI am the type of  person who sees the glass as half full. I have my days when I can be an extreme pessimist, but for the most part I am a very positive person. When I encounter those bad situations and experiences that we all face from time to time I try to find the meaning in them. I try to find at least some good in every situation no matter how bad it is. I am having trouble finding the silver lining in things that have been going on lately.

I  just started my fifth year of teaching three weeks ago. Usually by this time I have gotten into my groove, but not this year. I have felt overwhelmed since the year began. (Actually, I have felt overwhelmed for a lot longer than that.) So why does it feel like my job is getting harder and that I am losing ground? I keep trying to do too many things. Why do I do this to myself? Because I am the Nebraska Change Agent, and if I don’t keep pushing the envelope in Western Nebraska, who will?

The problem is that I just don’t know if I have what it takes to keep going.  I have experience some personal and professional setbacks recently that have shaken me to the core; events that have made me reevaulate who I am and what I believe in.  I am desperately searching for the silver lining in these situations, but it just isn’t there. Please forgive me if I seem a little out of sorts in the coming weeks.  I will be back. I just need to take some time to focus on my students, my college class, the Newbie project, our ISTE 10 proposal, and of course, my family.  At some point in there I have to take care of myself, too.  I will do that…..right after I track down that silver lining that I am so desperate to find.

10 thoughts on “Where is the Silver Lining?

  1. Hi Beth,

    I want you to know that you are doing such a great job. You keep pushing and moving and I want you to know you are making a difference. Were your ears burning last week? I was talking about you several times. I am co-teaching a Master’s Degree course on Educational Technology Leadership, and I was telling the students in that class about you and your Chatzy project last spring. WE used Chatzy and it was great. These are people wanting to be principals. Had you not invited me to share that experience with you and your students, I would not have had that experience to share with these students about the power of collaboration, and the flat world.

    Your post about giving your administrator a PLN. I am sharing that one very soon as well with them. We are using Twitter in our district, and I already did share that one with my TEchnology Team, and have already gotten one convert!!!

    I don’t know what is going on in your life. But I do know that you make a difference every day. Whether it is with your students in your classrooms with your innovative practices, or us out here as your PLN, you make a difference.

    Certainly we all know about stepping back and regrouping. You have to do that from time to time. All that says is that we are human. But you will not let anybody down if you do that. Because, as you recall, the power of the PLN is that we are a network. Some of us are more verbal and “active” than others, but we are all there to support one another. YOU have done totally your share of supporting for a while. Take care of yourself and your stuff and we will be here. WE’ll be here cheering you on, and holding your “virtual” hand, because that is what you have done for us!

    Hang in there, Beth. It will all work out better than expected.
    Your buddy,

    • Nancy,
      You are most definitely correct about us being a network. I think part of the issue is that I learned SO much in the year after I met you and I expected to continue learning at that rate. That just isn’t possible.

      I am thrilled you are sharing our experience with Chatzy last year and my post about PLN’s. It was good for my students to see “guests” in their space as they worked. That post on PLN’s was written to help two people in my district. I never dreamed that so many people would use that list to start their PLN.

      I think it is just time for me to impose a time out on myself. I will still be around, but I need to get caught up on my life right now. Thank you for reminding me that it is OK to take some time for me. I won’t wander too far away. There are different levels of going “off the grid.” I need to just be quiet for a while and focus on what others have to say. After all, anyone who knows me will tell you that it will do me some good to quit talking so much!

  2. Hang in there Beth, sometimes the silver lining doesn’t appear to us right away. I love reading your blog and am inspired by your example. Sometimes the silver lining is just that we grow and learn from an experience in ways that surprise us.

    • Frannie,
      I hope that is true. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I write for me, but it is nice to know that sometimes my thoughts inspire others.


  3. Been there too. But now the rainbow is out in full force. That’s what your PLN is for. Your list is now required reading for my students as they start their PLNs. Thank you!

    Your rainbow will soon appear again.

    • John,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am still amazed that my list is being adopted by so many people. I am glad it is helping people. There are some amazing educators on that list.

  4. I just want you to know that I believe in you and what you are doing. You have given so much to your project, pln, students, and of course, your family. I have read what other people write about you and I am convinced that you do give inspiration to people from many different walks of life. You have a gift and are willing to share it. Remember, everything happens for a reason. You just don’t really know what that reason is at this time. Stay focused and know that I will be there to support and help you with what I can. After all, that what husbands are for.

  5. Hi Beth,

    I know this comment is in reply to an older post but I just felt this was a good place to leave my comments.

    Nancy is so right about the difference you make. I am delighted to have met you at NECC09 (Common Craft Sushi Tweetup, I believe). Since then, I have worked on my PLN, added to my Google Reader, and delved into Twitter head first. I have learned so much.

    Some day, I hope to contribute on a regular basis but right now I am figuring out so many things! Can you imagine a PLN really guiding someone’s life path? Well, that’s what happening to me! So thank you, because I’m excited for the changes I am making.

    Most sincerely,
    Kristin Daniels

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