Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

by Stacey Ebert /
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Jun 03, 2024 / 0 comments

June. In the northern hemisphere, the sixth month of the year holds far more than its thirty days. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Nuggets of goodness like the summer solstice, the half-way point of the year, and the end of the typical school year juxtapose the anxiety of what comes from that aforementioned half-way point and ending of the typical school year. 

While it’s a month filled with conflicting emotions, the brilliance of summer’s arrival certainly touts a significant shift. Like many other socially accepted milestones, June plays host to celebrations. 

Celebratory flags. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

It’s the close of a school year, a mid-year calendar point, and a time of transition for many young people and those young at heart. It’s when our emotions churn on a continual hamster wheel. 

Accomplishments are celebrated, hugs embraced, and tears of sadness and happiness collide on our cheeks. It’s a constant loop of learning and processing, excitement and fear, self-assuredness and doubt, and doors that close while others open. 

It’s a moment to enjoy the path you’re on, give yourself grace and permission to be still, and take pride in the journey behind and in front of you. Rest assured you’ve grown and there’s even more amazing growth yet to come

Graduation group. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Picture Anna from Frozen flinging open the castle windows on what for her is an exciting and thrilling Coronation Day. She’s been dreaming of this day for years - she even sings a song about it. Yet, her sister has been dreading the moment where all eyes are on her and she has to play the role for which she’s been bred since birth. Many of the townspeople gather to glimpse the Princess, put out the bunting, and dress in their ceremonial best to be a part of a day they’d never get to have themselves. In Arendelle, Coronation Day is intended to be that penultimate moment. For some it is, and for others, it’s the catalyst to a whole new world.  

According to Merriam-Webster, a milestone is a “significant point in development.” Of course, any form of graduation is without question, a milestone—and June certainly includes a ton. Yet, the curious thing about June, the rest of the year, and the entirety of life, is that along with those traditional milestones, most humans experience a plethora of invisible ones, non-socially acceptable ones, and plenty of other significant points of development for which there are no Hallmark cards. 

Whatever your milestones, whenever they show up, they’re worthwhile, valid, awesome, and totally worth celebrating.   

Group of people jumping on the beach at sunset. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

From the first day of whatever type of learning, humans have milestones. 

Many of those get all the pomp and circumstance of graduation, and there are plenty of those game-changing ones that go unnoticed by society but hold grand significance to the individual and their champions. Some are invisible, some you won’t even realize until years later, and some hold pride of place in your heart for decades. 

We overcome our own challenges, triumph over boundaries others shove in front of us, navigate difficulties, and expand our resilience

skyline with a hand holding a glass ball with skyline reflection upside down. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

We level up our lives, often swim upstream, do things differently, showcase determination, and define courage. Our awareness grows, our life gets bigger, our perspective shifts, and our mindset grows healthier. We awaken and that in itself is worth its own ticker-tape parade.

Years ago, on a hike in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, the trail guide shared some slot canyon wisdom. He showed us how to take photos to let the most light in, welcomed us to what, in his opinion, was the pretty part of the country, and most importantly, reminded us to take a look back on the journey and trails we’ve traveled and use that wisdom to continue onward. Sometimes I think trail wisdom is otherwise known as life wisdom, and while his words didn’t rhyme like those of Dr. Seuss, they are equally poignant and beneficial. 

Antelope Canyon. Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

In the beginning of my learning journey, I found myself focusing on those socially accepted moments and wondering if those other ones I was extremely proud of weren’t as important. 

I was wrong. 

Today, I firmly believe that an expansive and glorious life includes an innumerable amount of milestone moments that are monumental to the individual and life changing for growth and what matters is that they mean something to you. 

So, know that whether they come with tassels and hats, or go unnoticed by society at large, your milestone moments are exactly that—yours. Significant moments in your growth and development that are worth celebrating and however you choose to do that, do it with gusto. 

We’re proud of you.

You worked for this moment. You’ve earned that walk down the proverbial aisle, the photo shoot, the high-five, and all the eco-friendly confetti. 

Confetti against blue sky. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Celebrate your moments.

Dance. Smile. Cry. Shout. Hug. Dream. Fling that hat up in the air. Do it all. You deserve it. You might not always see us, but we’re right beside you cheering you on, today, tomorrow, and always.

Onward to your best tomorrows. 

young girl drawing a kite. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

4 Tips to Navigate that Transition Time of Year

Compass on rocks with water in background. Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Know that everything is figureoutable

Have you ever looked at a statistics problem and thought, “I can’t possibly figure this out”? It stumps you, your eyes glaze over, you throw up your hands, and tunnel down the “I can’t” rabbit hole? It happens more often than we think, but the less time we can stay in the rabbit hole ( or of course, never fall down in the first place), the better. 

The flip of the light switch from “I can’t” to “I will” matters, and the time it takes to get there even more. Life flings a myriad of those sorts of obstacles at us daily, yet, like Marie Forleo’s recent NYT eponymous bestseller exclaims, “everything is figureoutable.” 

Transitions are a process. Like all processes, there are stages. 

Learning and development, the crossing, the other side are often milestone moments that exemplify changes. There’s a before and an after, yet the transition is where the learning lies. 

Endings and beginnings churn our thoughts—we ponder questions like what’s next, will I figure it out, what’s my definition of success, will I be okay, how do I go back to a beginner’s mindset, can I take a break, what do I do now? 

We don’t realize it at the time, but life is a journey of all of those questions with stages, transitions, awareness, trust, building and being resources, falling down, re-imagining, getting back up, and light bulb moments where we employ our resources and resilience and really do figure it out. 

It doesn’t always feel like it, it’s rarely pretty, it tends to be longer than we’d like, it takes a whole lot of grit, but “everything is figureoutable.”

Asian woman holding a lightbulb. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Stay in the moment—find your presence

I walked out of my first yoga class. It wasn’t till years later that I tried again, stayed, and learned to love it. It was even later when I found meditation and incorporated it into my world. 

Some things take time and regardless of what society tells us, there is no clock or competition. Today I listen to advice from well-being gurus, happiness professors, positive psychologists, integrative practitioners, and Eastern philosophers. The girl who giggled and left that yoga class wouldn’t recognize me. I call that growth—and every single one of us will have a different story. 

Yet it’s the life yoga where the lessons are, and the ability to remain in the moment impacts us all. Boardroom CEOs, neurosurgeons, NASA engineers, pilots, teachers, parents, politicians, public servants, athletes, humans—building our presence muscles magnifies everything. 

Recently that staying in the moment wisdom has played out through sports icons on Olympic stages, in tennis matches, and on basketball courts. Simone Biles taught us presence and mental health matter more—and stepped away for a pause. Naomi Osaka showed us that her mindset and mental health matter more—the press conferences went on without her. And Caitlin Clark, with the world watching her rise, success, and present-day beginner’s mindset, exhibits that presence on the basketball court and tells social media to wait. 

Society screams loudly to like these things, be this person, listen to this self-proclaimed expert, pay attention to this whatever, show only the wins, and there are a lot of shoulds shouted at the top of lungs. However you learn to incorporate that life yoga, take that pause, stay in the moment, shut out the noise, focus inward, find your beginner’s mindset, and remain present.

Life will get quieter, your own voice will grow louder, and clarity and awareness arise.

woman at reflective lake in sunset, dark skies. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Choose joy every single day

In 1998, when Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term positive psychology, the broader science community wasn’t really having it. It’s taken well over two decades and heaps of practitioners to showcase the science behind the idea of this well-being psychological approach. 

It’s not about toxic positivity or seeing life in only unicorns and rainbows; it is a science of optimal human functioning. This is a focus on well-being, learning optimism, grit, resilience, positive relationships, meaning, gratitude, joy, character strengths, and the effects these and other statistics have on overall health and life satisfaction. 

Studied at renowned universities across the globe, the focus on its tenets keeps showing up. Today, we find it through podcasts, like Yale professor’s Dr. Laurie Santos’ The Happiness Project, on Instagram with feeds like Harvard professor’s Arthur C. Brooks, and across all platforms with Mel Robbins. 

Sometimes it’s about looking for the good and others it’s following that viral Let Them Theory, employing the ability to allow others to really show you who they are and then choosing how to respond with that information at hand. 

Choosing that joy isn’t always easy. Humans tend towards the negative easily; seeking joy takes work, choice, and a rewiring causing that game-changing neuroplasticity of the brain. It’s rarely pretty and nearly never popular. Yet the psychological, medical, and well-being benefits are tenfold. 

Make space for what lights you up. Your health will thank you.

Young kid joyfully playing at fountain. Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones

Do you…it’s enough!

If you’ve been a part of any sort of traditional society, family, institution, or community for much of your life, you’ve seen those milestones that are often touted. They’re the ones you walk through any stationary aisle and easily find the heading for the card you need. 

Today, it’s gotten more inclusive, Etsy sellers will create whatever you need, and thankfully, more of the non-traditional has made its way into an inclusive mainstream. It’s better, yet there’s still more work to do. And, we know, there’s immense pride and truth in celebrating differences, choosing to color outside the lines, living authentically, and navigating life in your own way. You, my friend, are enough. 

You are perfectly imperfect and have everything you need for success. 

Heaps of my milestone moments have no card section. Those moments of awakening shifted something; some of them with a before and an after, others with a longer time in transition. Regardless, I was changed. Sometimes when those important to me life-quakes aren’t showcased by society, it stings a bit, yet at others, the high-five in the mirror, the celebration within the community that gets it, or the cupcake treat are all I need. 

Whether the world suggests the party or you create your own, you’re worth it. Those milestones big and small, celebrate them. Celebrate you.

In all you are, all you offer, all you share—you are enough. 

3 kids playfully celebrating. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Celebrate your Milestones


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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 for more of her travel musings.