Saturday, July 1, 2017

Overwhelmed, But Celebrating

Thank you to Ruth Ayers for providing a place to share our celebrations.

This is the current state of my kitchen table.

As I prepare to begin my third year of teaching sixth-grade language arts, all of my thinking and reading and learning and planning has worked me into a state of feeling overwhelmed. Yet, for each thing that has me feeling overwhelmed, there is also a reason to celebrate.

I am overwhelmed by the number of paperback books I need cover with contact paper to protect them from destruction as they are thrashed about in student backpacks. But I celebrate the teachers, students, and parents who have generously donated to my classroom library, as well as my local used books store which generously gives teachers a 50% discount.

I am overwhelmed by the selection of stories that I want to read so that I can help my students find those "just right" books. But I celebrate that I am blessed to have so many books in my hands from which to choose.

I am overwhelmed by the number of professional development books that I have set aside to read knowing that school will start before I've had the chance to read them all. But, I celebrate being taught by so many gifted educators who have put their expertise in writing for others to learn and grow.

I am overwhelmed by what it will take to transform my classroom into a writer's workshop. But I celebrate the excitement of new possibilities.

Although I may feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that emotions are temporary; they are fleeting. Like the weather, they change depending on the conditions. Celebration, however, is a choice. I choose to celebrate...with a glass of wine.

On a side note, Ninja was feeling overwhelmed by the humidity during our walk today. But he celebrated the air conditioning when we returned home. (He will also be celebrating his summer haircut next week.)

Here's to celebrating!


  1. Love that peek of your dining room table. The format of your overwhelmed/celebrate post is wonderful. I may borrow it one of these days. Love the shot of Ninja owning the vent.

  2. I love how you combined celebrations with feelings of being overwhelmed. Maybe whenever we feel overwhelmed we should always find the celebration within it! I love that your table looks a lot like mine...a mix of professional books, books for students, and mine even has some books I want to read for fun!

  3. I really enjoyed your structure here because life is overwhelming and you are right there are celebrations within those moments.

  4. I like the way your presented the dilemmas, but all end happily, and that's good! Reading surrounds many of us, so I just try to tell myself "one step at a time", all that I can do.

  5. The "overhwhelmingness" that you describe is the good kind because you can find the celebration in it! Reading what our students read is so important, and you have some great books on that table!

  6. Those books look familiar. Over the years I've loved those books as a fifth grade teacher. I know what you mean by being overwhelmed, but I love how you see the flip side and recognize that feeling will pass. Taking time to celebrate is a perfect way to recognize this.

  7. Great books! And yes --- summer feels that way, I think... overwhelming and also exciting! :- )

  8. Celebrations are ways to feel the pressures of life lifting: heat, overwhelming feelings,etc. Glad to hear that celebration is part of your practice, Gail.