- Teachers love the moments of wonder and engagement they see in their students.
- Sometimes it is difficult to not focus on all the things that go wrong.
- Let go of the negativity, and find the inner beauty and “Butterfly Bliss” in yourself and your teaching.
Recreate Your Inner Beauty: Chase After the Butterfly Bliss
One of my favorite things about being an educator is the genuine beauty of self-discovery and self-awareness. Not only for my students but for myself as well. Those moments when I am able to “read the room” and get a grasp on the direction of my instruction become instrumental in guiding the objectives to our destination.
There is no greater feeling of satisfaction than when these opportunities become successful realities. Faces light up in wonder and exuberance as they are fully engaged bringing a sense of delight. We go home at the end of the school day completely satisfied with our efforts and strategies.
Sounds like a dream, right? I’d like to take a moment to pause and let you know that this type of scenario is my GOAL, but not often enough does it ever materialize. Even the best-laid plans, activities, and lessons daily fall short of my expectations. I believe that every educator could relate to this type of practical certainty to some extent.
We have all felt it.
We didn’t do enough for our students, say the right words, calm the fears, or assess content properly. We’re focused too intently on all of the things that went two steps back or took the wrong turn. We struggle to maintain our smiles and positivity after it has all been drained. How in the world do we manage to break free from the pressures that keep us in the fragile state of fallibility?We can begin to turn our attention to the genuine beauty of self-discovery and unfold our wings as we let go of the past. Click To Tweet
The Beauty of the Butterfly
In giving this some intentional thought, I was immediately drawn back to the days when I used to teach my littles about the life cycle of a butterfly. Our package of monarch caterpillars was carefully delivered to the school, and we would set up the habitat and begin watching the stages take place. It was fascinating to observe these unique creatures munch through leaves and crawl around as their bodies became bigger. Curiosity and questioning quickly became an integral part of our day as the days progressed. The caterpillars grew and hung upside-down to form the pupa. Then it was time for rest. The transformation was miraculous to behold.
It was during those times that I had felt the most confident as an educator. Not in my own knowledge or wisdom, but in the facilitation of something that was way beyond my control. The natural world taking over and instructing organically.
I will never forget reading how it is essential for a monarch butterfly to stay upside-down immediately after it emerges from the chrysalis. It has to have sufficient space in order for the wings to dry and form correctly. Often, it looks awkward and unusual from the human perspective. Yet, it is completely instinctive for the butterfly to do what it needs to do for survival. It was extraordinarily incredible to watch the metamorphosis take place right in front of our eyes within just a few weeks. When it was time to release the adult butterflies into the wild, there were some happy tears for we knew they were free to fly away with their beauty.[scroll down to keep reading]
Your Inner Beauty: Finding Butterfly Bliss
We can take to heart the lessons learned from what I call the “Butterfly Bliss” and shift our ability to regulate our feelings, thoughts, and behavior to intentional hope and positivity. It’s hard to shake those things that bring us down. Our lack of grace and flexibility for our OWN mistakes is overwhelming.
An anonymous writer penned this quote:
“Butterflies can’t see their wings.
They can’t see how truly beautiful they are,
but everyone else can.
People are like that as well.”
If we truly understand what this means, we can begin to turn our attention to the genuine beauty of self-discovery and unfold our wings as we let go of the past.
First, we can EMBRACE the changes with gratitude. Nothing is perfect. Not ONE thing. Striving for perfection prevents us from seeing the beauty in our wings.
Second, we can EMERGE from the negativity into the freedom to fly. On our own. Without shame or comparison. Into joy.
Lastly, we can EMBARK on a new destination. Go ahead. Find the flowers, take off into the breeze, and let the beauty of YOU shine through and through.
Trust your colors. Soar and shine. Live with Butterfly Bliss.
About Jillian DuBois
Jillian DuBois currently serves as an elementary school educator in Clearwater, FL. She has worked both in public and private educational settings for over 20 years. Her passion is to initiate, instill, and infuse joy to those in educational leadership through blogs and podcasts. Jillian uses her voice to help foster hope for student equity and empathy. Outside of school, you will find Jillian outdoors, soaking up the sun and surf, or finding new paths to hike with her husband and son. You can visit her website here!