Have you ever wondered how you got through something without breaking down? Well for me this was what 2012 was about. It was one hell of a year. I went from being honored from being Teacher of the Year, to being told I had to re interview for my job, to being rehired but then getting the shaft on two positions that I was highly qualified for. By the time the summer came I was ‘spent’ mentally, physically and emotionally. All I wanted to do was rest. So I took the 8 weeks I was out to reflect on me-and how I wanted to build my legacy. I decided that I needed to build my brand so high that I would never have to depend on a job to validate me. So I continued my push to get out the first online magazine for teachers, The Educator’s Room.
All summer I recruited writers, photographers graphic design people to help me. A lot of people ‘blew me off’ or questioned why I would do this but something was driving from inside me that kept saying, “Keep going, Fran. The end result will be huge.” I kept going and by the time we launched on August 1st, I was ready for whatever. At first traffic to the site was slow. But then I got an email from a guy in education who wanted to write for us and he wrote the article, “The Exhaustion of the American Teacher”, and my site EXPLODED. Seriously our Facebook fan page went from about 200 followers to over 2,000 in one month. Our page views were bananas (think in the hundreds of thousands) and all I could think was, “This started where I thought was an end.”
Fast forward to today. This online magazine has given me life again. Now I have a place to voice all of my frustrations with the American education system and an audience who will engage with me back. For 2013, I have so many wonderful things planned for the site that I can barely contain myself. You see I have to remember that all because I think I’m at the end of an experience, career, etc that does not mean that it’s truly the end. I honestly believe that the reason I didn’t get ANY of those jobs I interviewed and applied for in the spring was because I needed to stay at my job so that I could be recognized for all the great things I do as an educator; hence, me being rewarded with Teacher of the Year 2012. Once I got that reward it validated all the struggles and foolishness that I went through in 2012. I feel like there are things that are literally ‘for me’ and it doesn’t matter what anyone says (or does) I’m going to receive them. So as I look onto 2012 with some excitement and a little apprehension, I know I’ll be alright. I’m a child of God!