You read that right, it's been two years since this journey began. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing when I began this venture. I felt inspired and wanted to share that inspiration with others. I have always enjoyed taking photos of the children in my care and wanted to share some of our adventures. Little did I know how far-reaching our blog could touch and the incredible people I'd encounter and relationships that have developed along the way.
So here are some of the lessons I've learned along the way:
First, blogging lessons learned:
#1 A picture is worth a thousand words.
I'm a very visual person, as many of our followers are. Blog-wise, people tend to skim if it's just a lot of words, but those words paired with good explanatory and tutorial photos, create a lovely balance.
#2 Sometimes less really is more.
In the last year I have put out less blog posts than I did the first year. 45 in the first year and 28, including this one, in the second year. I'd rather post high quality information and photos than to just feel like I need to pump out a post each week. Don't get me wrong, many amazing bloggers put out one or more post each week and do an awesome job of it. I've just determined that with my other commitments, it's not something I can do at all times.
#3 You've got to be true to yourself.
You're never going to please everyone and consistently striving to do so is futile. I'm originally from North Carolina and use terms that are a part of my culture as endearments. Yes, I strive to be professional, but at the end of the day, I have to be true to myself.
Now, educator and life lessons:
#1 Be mindful of your motivation.
Yes, it's fantastic when you come up with this spectacular idea and have a plan of how you think the children will perceive and put it into action, but how do you deal with it when things don't go as planned? Many times I have an idea of the direction the children with take the idea and it's very different from what actually occurs. We love being able to send children's work home to share with their families, but not every child progresses in that way. We have to be ready to document their journey in other ways, whether by photos, documentation, and other mediums. We've heard until the cows come home, that it's the process, not the product, but sometimes we just need to breathe and remind ourselves of this.
#2 Rome wasn't built in a day.
We have to give ourselves as educators and caregivers, an ample supply of grace. There's no way to do everything you'd like during a theme. With the plethora of ideas floating around through blogs and sites such as Pinterest, it can be overwhelming trying to prioritize what you're doing. We have to learn to focus, prioritize, and truly believe that it's okay to "shelf" this amazing idea for now.
#3 Why are we doing this again?
Being caregivers, it's so easy for us to take care of everyone and everything better than we take care of ourselves. It's easy to get caught up in the themes and the plans and if you are in a state or federal program, the assessing. At the end of the day a child's not going to remember particular ideas or projects as much as they will remember that adult that took the time to show that they truly care through words of encouragement, comfort, and guidance and actions of truly listening, sharing a thumbs up, a hug, and/or a smile.
So, two years have passed. I'd like to think that I'm not only older, but wiser, as well. At the time of posting we've had 173,962 page views and are blown away by that. Many things have changed, but many have remained the same. Thank you for sharing this journey with us as we strive to remember that it's for the children.