So…the funny thing about this plaque? I was working as a staff developer in a district where I felt really, really appreciated. Every time I visited, teachers oohed and aahed over my conferences. They loved my ideas for teaching strugglers. Administrators invited me to present to very big groups.
So there I was, loving my time with them, feeling almost like a celebrity, when one of the coaches gave me this wall hanging. I had been talking about how I wanted to publish a book about teaching and she had been encouraging me. I was so flattered when she presented me with this little gem.
I didn’t know it was a good-bye gift until a few weeks later.
The district had decided to ditch me and go with a more developed consulting organization, a well known NYC group connected to a large university. I could understand that, but I was heartbroken.
When I finally figured out that I wasn’t going to be asked back, I hid the plaque. I didn’t want to tell MY story, or any other story, again. I didn’t want to be reminded that maybe my story didn’t matter?
After a long time and a lot of tears, I pulled the wall hanging out. I asked my husband if I should trash it. He looked at it and said, “Your story matters…to everybody but them.”
We had a good laugh, then he helped me figure out where to hang that inspiring quote, so I’d see it all the time. To remind myself that my story does matter. And to tell it every day.