My suitcase is unpacked; my belongings are put away. Already last weekend is fading into the recesses of my memory.
Last weekend I got to see friends from across the country. I met new people. I networked with bloggers and documentary filmmakers and teachers and parents and librarians. I, who hate having my picture taken, willingly joined in group photos in restaurants and convention center ballrooms and with Diane Ravitch.
Last weekend was the NPE conference in Raleigh.
I could go on and on about the sessions. The keynotes (although at the end of this post you will see the video of one of them). Just getting to see so many people who are usually a tiny image attached to a blog or a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
But selfishly, I think the greatest gift I got this weekend was validation.
For about 48 hours, I wasn’t crazy. I understood children and learning. My thoughts were respected. I was even told by a few people that I’m smart.
I don’t hear those things a lot.
This blog has been pretty quiet lately, quieter than I intended back in January. This year is not the horrible-ness of last year. In some ways it’s worse. Or a different kind of horrible. It’s personally and professionally been one of the hardest years of my life. I would like to believe that at some point things will get better, but I don’t think I have enough faith to believe in anything anymore.
A lot has happened. I have a lot to say–some scribblings, some notes jotted down on my phone, some still floating around in my head, likely never to return. So much to say, so much I want to say…but the short version is this.
I’m not the kind of teacher that the powers that be value. Often however I think and feel about an issue is directly opposite to what the others say and do. Every day is a battle.
Every single day.
I’m back to sitting in my car in the mornings, willing myself to go in the building.
And it’s only April.
For two days I was surrounded by people who told me I’m not crazy. People who audibly gasped when they heard some of what I (and my kids) are experiencing. People who offered hope that maybe it won’t always be this way.
My suitcase is unpacked; my belongings are put away. I’m back at school where nothing has changed for the better.
And I try to make it through another week as last weekend fades into memory.
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