11.11.2015

Making Connections!!!


It was really just this year that I learned the value of making those connections with others… outside of my comfortable, imperfect, little bubble! Social media, mainly Instagram, has brought some very special people into my life <see below for pics of those gorgeous faces>. And when I think back, I never (No, really. NEVER.) dreamed of sharing my life with others who I barely knew (ok, don’t know at all) nor become so intrigued by the lives OF others. It was your typical mentality of #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Let’s face it, we’re all busy. I get it. I have a full-time career, a husband, 3 kids, family, and friends that I have loved for over 20+ years.However, I couldn’t feel more grateful for falling into that Social Media hole and opening my heart and social media doors to everyone (Well, almost everyone. #saynotocreepers). My life has forever changed… in and out of the classroom.

Lurking around Instagram, I found that there are thousands of talented educators who were sharing their “amazingness” with little ol’ me! I mean, people were giving away freebies for goodness sakes! What-the-what?! As an educator, how do you not take advantage of gaining more knowledge, extra time to now do something else because someone has handed you a product that would’ve taken you hours to create?! Hello? Did you hear me?! Time is priceless and people are handing it to me on a silver platter (with maybe some polka-dots, chevron, and cute font)! I mean… #icanteven. <sideline: I love hashtags. Get used to it.> Responding, appreciating, “liking”, and simply making those connections on social media has made me a better educator for each and every one of my students. Because no matter what anyone says… it IS all about them. Arming them with all of the resources, knowledge, and heart to live a happy and good life is our ultimate goal! Despite what is going on in your personal life and relationships with other colleagues, the sight of this goal should never be lost. So, it became clear that I needed to “make the time for that.” The vibe and passion in my classroom now is ever-so-present and palpable. Thank you, social media.

Then came TPT, FacebookTwitter, PeriscopeGoogle Hangouts, Voxer, and BLAB. Most of us screamed, “Noooo, not one more! No more! I can’t!” And then it became, “Oh. Wait, what?! Real-time? I can see, talk to you?! Ummm,wait... you have an accent?! You’re going through the same crap hardships as me?” Before I knew it, people from all over the world were joining together to share ideas about building their edu-empire, classroom management, technology in the classrooms, troubled students, stress management, keeping healthy, stretching out your dollar <because we is teachers and we is broke>, and your product sucks, but let me tell you why… the list is endless. You will always find at least one topic that you can connect with another person on. Always. Teacher communities are popping up all over the place! Besties are being made! Voices are being heard! Educators are being supported! Students are thriving! Happy Classrooms! Happy teachers! We are teachers, hear us ROAR!!!! Ahhh. Who the heck cannot find the value in making connections?!

Well, if I haven’t convinced you of the importance and value of making those connections with the outside world yet, I’m stunned, listen up, because the best part is coming… Making connections with others will surprisingly bring people into your life that you could never imagine living without. I’m pretty keen on what is going on around me and what will happen next (because I like to think that I know just about everything. What?! I do! Ask my husband.) However, I NEVER suspected that I would meet people from online, all over the world, and pray each night that God keeps them forever safe and healthy, for fear that my heart couldn’t endure such heartbreak. 

Some I have never met in person….

Some that don’t know that I’m their best friend YET… 

 


And some that I’ve had the privilege of going out to dinner with, and texting on a daily basis with...

 

Yup. I’ve. Fallen. Hard. Having groups of people, communities, constantly telling me, “You can do it! Don’t listen to them! Try this! I love you!” is mind-blowing.

Putting yourself out there, making meaningful relationships with others, will bring you the greatest of surprises that you never thought imaginable. Your life may seem as if it is crumbling down all around you, but “those people” that you once “replied to”, “followed”, or simply “liked” have a knack for glimmering that sliver of light into your path that you were too blind to see on your own. The funny part, they have no idea of how they’ve blessed your life. No clue. I find that amusing. And it’s always the most clueless that make the biggest of impacts. Juggling that humbleness and greatness is no easy feat, people! They make their way into your heart in the most heart-skipping-beat kind of way. You. Will. Be. Amazed.

This post most certainly wouldn't have been possible if Global Glitter Tribe hadn't reached out to me and "make that connection." #forevergrateful

Who has made their way into your heart from that simple online connection? Tell me! I love a #juicystory!

~Janice

14 comments:

  1. Loved every sentence of this post!!
    Courtney
    Teaching in Paradise

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    1. And I've just loved every bit of you, Courtney! Thank you so much! xo

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  2. Can I shout 'I LOVE THIS' any louder? This whole blog wouldn't be possible without the on-line community and the 'taking a chance, making it happen' meeting I had with Myranda in London this Summer- I love all of my friends- and I do mean friends- dearly! Thanks for such a heart- warming and spirits-rising post! #weareteachershearusroar Xx

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    1. Eeeek! Thanks to you, I actually got this published. And yes... WE ARE!!!! xo

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  3. This post made my day. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to meet you in person Janice. You put the FAB in fabulous. Your keep it real and you keep me laughing...that's what I love about you. My favorite part..."I pray each night that God keeps them forever safe and healthy, for fear that my heart couldn’t endure such heartbreak." I hope we get to meet again...soon!

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    1. Oh, Trina! My texas girl... how I love thee and YOUR realness in this crazy world! You remind me every day to not take things too seriously and if I do... it's ok to! So glad HE brought us together! Love you...

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  4. Janice, I love this post! You summed up what I have felt for the past couple of years in such a well stated, beautiful post! I have loved watching your friendship with the So Cal girls blossom on Insta, and I have appreciated every bit of positivity you spread! You are right- it is all about the kids. Our little communities make us better human beings and teachers! :)

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    1. Ok, Marissa... YOU are my OG Insta friend and I will never forget that first feeling you gave me of simple comfort. YOU have that knack and I believe helped me to ease into this "hole" that I am forever grateful for! Thank you, friend. We will meet one day!!! #ipromise xo

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  5. My soul sister, we've only known each other for about two years, and yet it feels like forever! I think about you everyday because #icandohardthings has become my daily motto! Here's to more good times my sweet friend!

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    1. Cheryl, because of YOU, I repeat my newly coveted mantra #icandohardthings... with a smile and a giggle. I swear, your big heart and witty ways grabbed my heart like no other! My soul-sistah, my forever friend, all from the likes of social media and reaching out of my comfort zone. I'm forever grateful and hope that you never forget my admiration and love for you!

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  6. Janice! I love this and I love you :) I still remember the first time I came across your smiling face on Periscope... it feels like ages ago but it was only less than 4 months ago. That right there, is evidence of how powerful online connections can be and how quickly they can form friend :)

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    1. Ashley! It does feel like forever ago, but couldn't be more appreciative of that moment in time! It was those sweet words and kindness that you expressed (and all those hearts and tapping of the Peri man) that gave me those wonderful feels of comfort and love. Love YOU!!!!

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  7. Janice, you have a gift. A gift with words and a gift at making others feel loved, invited, and ALL of the warm fuzzies! Making connections isn't easy #shynessevenontheinterwebs YOU make it easy! So, thank you for being you and being lovely!!!!!
    ~Andi

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  8. Andi, stop. At the risk of sounding totally stalkerish, you are that one person that I can remember so vividly connecting with. Your witty ways, love for your family, having the most beautiful monkey that one could ever lay eyes on, and genuine kind heart has always had me in awe. No, really. That was all YOU. I couldn't be more grateful that I may actually give you the warm fuzzies that you give to me! How can that even be?! That right there makes my writing worth it and going out of my comfort zone. One day we will meet because I am almost certain that we will have the best time making fun of everything, loving on Max, and "putting our hair in a bun, putting some gangsta rap on, and handling that!" Love you, my friend!

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