Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

by Stacey Ebert / Apr 05, 2021 /
Stacey Ebert's picture

For over a year now, one day has blurred into the next..days where you skipped shoes, used the couch as your full-on habitat, weren’t sure if you were hungry or thirsty, and literally were not sure what day it was. These twelve months have seemed far longer than 365 days, but somehow it seems that if we can hold on tight enough, it’s not only the time change that will provide that extra light.

Whenever it is that we get to reemerge from the nightmare that brought the world to a standstill, who will you be, what will you show the world, how will you step into the light anew?

In life, we get the opportunity to reinvent ourselves as often as we choose. Each new school we enter, new work experience, new travel journey, new country of residence, even each new day…with each change, we grow; with each experience, something in us is different. 

This past year has certainly been one of change. Constant, fluid shifts, adapting and re-adapting, coping, managing, and surviving amidst a global pandemic hasn’t been an easy task. 

Somehow, each of us has been touched by this virus. No matter where you stand or where you lay your head, somehow, amidst these past twelve months, there has been a conversation about COVID. We’re getting so much closer to a time when that virus will no longer occupy as much space as it did, will no longer guide every thought or decision, and when hugs again are not only a thing, but a normal occurrence.

When you re-emerge in the post-Covid time, who will you be? 

Reinvention: who will you be?

What will you take with you from this time when the world slowed down and people stayed home? What will you remember? What are you glad you learned or unlearned? What hobby are you glad you renewed; how did you focus your attention during this time? One of these days, we will step back out into the light, show back up again in the world, and move past survival to thriving. What ‘you’ will you be then?

Recently, I’ve come to realize that I’m officially a multipotentialite. According to Puttylike’s Emilie Wapnick, who brought the term to light a few years ago, a multipotentialite ‘is someone with many interests and creative pursuits’. I knew it all along, but only recently got to put a term to it. I was the kid in a variety of clubs, who went to camp and youth groups, who worked multiple jobs and volunteered a lot, and who continues to traverse the landscape with eyes wide open and passions in many ports. 

Cultivating these passions takes effort, energy, and motivation. Some come to fruition, some huddle in the background awaiting their time to shine, and still others become a pastime perfect for bringing joy and lending a helping hand. None of us are one-dimensional. While some of us have our hearts and passions amidst a variety of fields, occupations, and interests, all of us have braved this pandemic, felt the tug and pull of procrastination and motivation, have navigated the anxiety and devastation of this year, and are awaiting the day when we can again safely face the world together, sans masks. 

When that day comes, who will you share with the world?

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

What is it about us that pulls us in varied directions? Is it our drive to pursue our passions? Is it a calling to things beyond our main life goals? Is it time that some of us are able to make while juggling whatever we need to pay our bills and manage the minutiae of life? Through traveling, I know for certain that I’ve left my heart in places around the globe; it’s the same with those passion pursuits. From the outside, some see these tiered loves of ours as not committing to solely one thing, while others view it as an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to share our skills and talents with a wider world. 

How do you see it? If it hurts too much to close yourself off to solely one pursuit, then you mustn’t do so. If it lifts your spirit to have those side hustles, hobbies, loves, or multiple monetary streams, head forth into the world and continue your mission. If you aim to keep yourself filled with passion and purpose and that goes above and beyond the thing that puts food on your table, keep doing it. 

As a teacher, in planning lessons and units, we often aim to hit as many learning styles as possible. The auditory learner, the visual learner, and the kinesthetic learner all deserve the opportunity to excel. Those who thrive on cooperative learning, individualized learning, lectures, projects, assessments, videos, and activities all deserve the chance to flourish. As a traveler, we often have multiple places on our ‘must see’ list at all times. Ask me where I’d like to go next, and you’ll have to sit down as the list is far longer than a five second conversation. Why then do we feel like we need to be only that one thing for our entire lives? 

We’re not stuck. We have choices. We can change how we see the world, how we interact with the world, how we enter the world, and what we want to do in the world. 

Most likely, the child who walked into my ninth grade class on her first day will not be the exact same human when she’s in her thirties. I hope she’s not. I hope she gets the opportunity to shift her focus, find the story she wants to share with the world at each milestone moment, and grow and change as she feels the need. Reinvention isn’t a one-time thing. 

Give yourself permission to be your best self today. As we begin the process of poking our heads from our quarantined homes for the first time in forever, how will you re-emerge? Which version of yourself will you share with your wider audience? Whatever you steps forth, be proud of yourself, channel that well-earned strength, and put your best foot forward.

You’ve got this...and we can’t wait to watch you soar.

How to cultivate skills for reinvention

Build your drive and determination

I’ve heard the ‘what gets you up in the morning’ question used at job interviews and icebreakers. Discount ‘the alarm’ as your answer, and really dig in–what’s really your answer? Do you feel your drive and determination to put yourself out there and strive is at its maximum? If it’s not, what can you do to raise your own bar? 

Reinvention isn’t easy. Like life, there are ups and downs, twists and turns, and potholes and mudslides that sometimes cross your path. Traits like adaptability, flexibility, and a take one step at a time attitude are game changers along this path. Give yourself weekly mantras, encourage yourself to take next steps, put on your ‘I can do this’ face, be afraid, and do it anyway. There will be naysayers, those who push back on your boundaries, and those who believe it can’t be done. Remember their words have much to do with their own story and little to do with yours. You can influence your own energy while simultaneously inspiring those in the room. 

I believe in you. Go change the world.

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

Channel your passions and creativity

What do you love? If you could retire tomorrow, what might you wish to pursue? If money was no object, how would you spend your time? What activities, pursuits, or engagements do you participate in that feel good in both your body and your mind? These are the things to focus on, these are the talents to tap, these are the passions and creativity that help to make you, you. Your special strengths, traits, and desires–these are the ones we wish you to embolden. 

Sometimes, looking to reinvention is directly related to those passions and pursuits. At other times, we’re looking to figure out how to create the reinvention that feels equally as good as what those passions and pursuits make us feel. 

On each day, as we begin again, what will you seek?

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

Magnify your motivation and mindset

These many months have thrown us all for a loop. There are days when hopping out of bed is only the first of many steps for the day–and sometimes, it’s the biggest one. We all have days when our motivation feels like it’s down in the dumps, and others where we’re ready to soar…this is normal. Good days and bad days are just that–they’re not the full chapter, and are in no way the full story. 

Put plans in action to flourish. Create a mindset toolkit accessible when you need it that includes the tools you need to thrive. Often, our biggest critic is our own fear, the stories we tell ourselves, and the obstacles we place in our own way. 

Your motivation and mindset matter. Whether it’s a meditation practice, weekly mantras, journaling, courses, podcasts, yoga, exercise, books, teachers, lecturers, nature, therapy, or positive relationships, find the tools that work for you, keep them near enough to utilize, and grow that motivation and mindset. With the right tools (which are the ones that are right for you), you’re bound to flourish and thrive.

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

Engage in encouragement

The teenage years are hard; heck, so much of these past twelve+ months have been hard. In today’s society, where we’re not necessarily engaged the same way we were in the pre-pandemic times, that engagement and encouragement is up to us. I taught high school, and my teenage students used to discuss which sticker they received on their assignment and get excited if it was sparkly or scented. At camp, a little one’s face lit up the entire sky when they received a swimmer of the week certificate, if a counselor told them they tried hard that day, or if a friend reminded them they were so glad to see them this summer. On those cycling apps, riders give each other a virtual ‘ride on’ while riding in their own space, and it often helps to kick that tush into gear. 

While that engagement and encouragement may look different for a while, it’s up to us to seek it, be a part of it, and offer it to others. Join the conversation, give a compliment to a stranger, pay an act of kindness forward, aim to lift others up throughout the day. 

Each act of encouragement, each act of engagement creates an abundance of joy for both the giver and the recipient. Enact that positive psychology that tells us abundance of joy can propel us to great heights, channel those feelings, and you’ll be your own motivation along the way.

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

Learn how to share your story

Today there are multiple methods to share your story with a wider world. Whether you choose a podcast, tweets, posts, reels, stories, chats, apps, videos, the spoken word, the written word, or the watched focus, you can get your message far beyond the borders of your own four walls. Decide what you want to share, how you wish to utilize your platform, what your goals of sharing actually are, and press enter. 

Your story is worth sharing–you never know just how much using your voice might encourage another to do the same. Onward

Through the Eyes of an Educator–Reinvention: who will you be?

 

 

Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

 

Check out her website at thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com for more of her travel musings.