I could have ended my journey with “Arrow’s Adventure” after giving it to my principal at West (Click Here for more on that ), but I chose to pursue self-publishing for a couple reasons.
There are lots of articles about the pros and cons of self-publishing and I think they over complicate what story-telling is all about. For me, though I’ll admit I’m not great at being vulnerable, I do believe if someone has a story to share they should share it. Stories create connection and bring inspiration. When we hear or read a story we become a part of it….and being part of something always teaches or changes us somehow.
I am fortunate to be able to have a year where I am teaching only part-time, so one reason I self-published was just a response to knowing I have an opportunity to pursue something. It’s an attempt to not waste time, take a risk, and personally move forward with a dream. Dreams do not exist to simply be dwelled on. They inspire movement and are meant to be pursued.
I also believe in the story of “Arrow’s Adventure” itself, and the message of always moving forward. The most exciting part of creating the book for me is being able to share it with other people. After I gave it to my principal at West I knew I wanted to also give copies to my former students. I am counting down the days until my order of books arrives so I can hand-deliver them to those kids.
A lot of my students I had for both of my years at West. There is a group of them who are seniors now, and the hardest thing for me about leaving my job was knowing I wouldn’t be seeing them through their final year. Work was pretty much my life for two years, and my classes grew to feel like my family in some ways. I don’t know how to explain it….I just felt like we all trusted each other. We all felt like we belonged together in our classroom even though our personalities are so far-ranging and our stories so incredibly diverse.
People who don’t teach in a school sometimes get a romanticized view of the job. They see it as a career where you walk in the door, see moments of inspirational growth every day, and go home feeling confident you are making an impact on the world. Most teachers will tell you that making an impact has a lot more to do with trust than seeing validation right in front of you.
I’ve learned with teaching to enjoy the little moments more than live waiting for the big ones that you may or may not see. My students receiving “Arrow’s Adventure” is just a moment in all of our individual stories. Being able to show gratitude is going to be gift enough for me…everything else will be a bonus. It’s not going to be an ending where the everything is done…we will all keep moving on. As I’m moving forward from my adventure at West I do have some hopes attached this little gift.
I hope these kids will have confidence that I’ll always believe in them and have their backs. Knowing you are believed in is a powerful force. I hope they are encouraged to always move forward no matter what. Whether it be small steps or big ones, I want them to keep choosing movement. I hope by seeing someone they know have a dream and pursue it they will have a stronger belief own belief in their ability to pursue dreams. My final hope is that they will use the concept of moving forward to positively impact others like they’ve impacted me.
Always move forward.