Well I’ve just completed my second week with kids at Webb Elementary.  I’ve held off on writing these first two weeks for a bunch of reasons.

These first two weeks were filled with amazingness.  They were filled with awesome lessons from teachers, great interactions with kids and families, and exciting moments in the hallways and at recess.  But these weeks were also incredibly challenging for me, especially week one.

I’m at a much larger campus this year, with more kids, more staff, more parents, and more grade levels.  We’re now a PreK-5th grade campus.  And this year, more than ever before, I have seen more heartache and pain.  I’ve already worked with children who break my heart from the homes they come from.  But more so, I’ve dealt with more venom from parents on social media and in person then in all my years in education combined.  Especially in the first week of school.  And it took a toll.  It ate away at me.

And as it ate away, I began to allow doubt to take hold.

I often think about the power that doubt holds over us.  We have days that we doubt if we’re a good spouse, or friend, or brother/sister, or parent.  We doubt if we’re a good teacher.  If we truly know what we’re doing.  If we were cut out for this.  We doubt our talents, our skills, our genius.

Doubt is one of those things that can rip us to shreds.  It can destroy us if we let it.  Every single one of us on the Webb Elementary campus matters.  My team may hear me say things about mattering or telling them that they matter and then begin to think it’s just a series of words I’ve decided to throw together.  But in reality I’ve seen first hand the power of understanding that each of us truly does matter.

And it’s funny.  You see I take time every day to try and remind others of their worth and value, and yet I so quickly can forget my own. 

Through the negativity and destructive words I read and heard, I began to wonder why I was so terrible.  If I was truly that unwanted and disliked by families in Navasota.

And after a bit of prayer, I did what I always advise others to do…..I found my people.  I sought out my friends and co-educators who knew me.  Who knew my heart.  I cried with them.  I prayed with them.  I shared my pain and my struggle, and they built me up.  They spoke words of truth that brought me back.  They helped remind me of who I knew I was, but had begun to forget.

We can’t allow doubt to take root in our lives.  We must surround ourselves with others who will remind us when we forget.  Others who will lift us up.  Who will help us celebrate every single success.  Because even the smallest successes are worth celebrating.

So for those of you out there today who are feeling doubt creep in, push it away.  Tell it to back off.  Look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself just how incredibly unique and important that you are.  Because we all bring something great to the table and we can’t let doubt steal our gifts away.

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