You Can Fly!

As my five year old napped, I took a moment to check my e-mail to find that the flat classroom wiki has received the 2006 edublog award for Best Wiki! I appreciate your votes and nomination and all that my co-wiki organizer in Bangladesh, Julie Lindsey has done.

My Favorite Ride at Disney speaks of hope

When I rode my favorite “slow ride” at Disney yesterday, Peter Pan, I literally relished the music and feeling. The entire ride is set to the song is entitled “You can Fly.”

Once you embark, you follow Peter Pan leading his new friends from their tiny nursery to fly over the rooftops of London where the cars look like tiny phosphorescent ants on the noodle-sized streets below. Then, Peter leads them through adventure, danger, and finally to a place where the good guy gets the girl and the bad guy stands spread eagle holding open the jaws of the crocodile while yelling “Smee, help me!”

It is the stuff a little (or big) girl's dreams are made of.

It is my favorite ride because ultimately I'm one of those semi-naive people who truly believes that if we tune out the naysayers and sarcastic cold water committees that we can truly accomplish things that are seemingly impossible.

I mean, the bumblebee isn't supposed to be able to fly, for goodness sakes, but nobody told him and nobody told me.

The Truly Great

I adore great men and women such as Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln, Dale Carnegie, and Helen Keller because they weren't supposed to be able to fly either. They lived through the tough times and didn't listen to critics but overcame and overcame and when they couldn't hold out any more, they got up again and overcame some more!

I've often wondered how amazing it would be if Dale Carnegie had been a blogger and I could have read his work one day at a time as it emerged. I want to be that inspirational. I want to be better and more. I want to fly! And I want to convince the kids I work with that they can too.

I've had enough of those critics who want to deflate the tires of my airplane and give me all the reasons I can't do something. I hope you'll choose to ignore them too.

Within us are the seeds of greatness

For I believe that within each of us are the seeds of greatness. And it is the stories of overcomers that are truly the great ones — (not the stories of silverspoon babies who were successful via inheritance). It is the tough real life stories that they usually make movies about. (Rudy, Pursuit of Happyness (yes, I spelled it correctly), We Are Marshall, Flyboys, Chariots of Fire… and on and on).

Problems give us the opportunity to be great overcomers

It is the kid like I was that had no friends (the few I had the bullies took away in 6th grade) and had no beauty (I was called ugly by “the kids” in my class until I started winning beauty pageants in the 11th grade) and had no background (the other freshmen at Georgia Tech told me I'd flunk out the first semester and I went on to graduate first in my class) and had no hope (when my husband and I lost our entire life savings ten years a go on a pecan grove that went under water in the flood of 1994 — we've just paid off all of the debt) and was stupid (when I left my six figure general manager job to be a stay at home mom) and would be nothing (when I gave up my business to be a teacher). My life is chock full of those stories — and not to my harm but to my blessing. (I can honestly say that I've been happy though!)

Every time I have a problem as I pray about it on my knees, I envision the amazing providence that will be evident when God blesses me and helps me work through and past that problem. God has truly blessed me!

I shall not be defined by opinions but what I do for others

I shall not be defined by others' opinions! Rather, what do I do to make a difference in the lives of other people? What have I done to encourage them to be more and tune out the naysayers? What have I done to share what I've learned? What have I done to give others the credit they deserve? What have I done to help people who are having a rough time? What have I done to help lift the underdog out of the mud, brush them off, and give them hope?

Put your finger in the water if you feel indispensable

If I sound like I want to be superwoman, that is not me at all. In fact, this life isn't about me. Any time I feel indispensable, I put my finger in a glass of water and pull I out and remember that the cemetery is full of indispensable people who left just as much a mark on the world as the finger left in the water.

But the only thing I shall leave behind is the engravings on the heart of others. That is a legacy. That is where I want to spend my time and that time is short!

So, as I consider the many blessings I have — my God, my family, my students, my school — I am now adding another blessing to my list — the edublogging community which is full of truly great people who rise above and never let others tell them that they can't fly.

You amazing edubloggers that I read and that comment here do fly. You do it every day. You overcome people who misunderstand, misrepresent, and miscommunicate with you. You overcome people who often treat you like the machines you work so closely with and do not understand your feelings and that you need to be told “thank you” every so often. You overcome because you stick it out and work with children who rarely say thank you but demand all of the stores of energy we can muster.

You are my inspiration and I am honored to now call myself one of you! Every time I read a story about how you've overcome, I know I can do it too!

So, as you set your goals for next year and review your life remember this:

You can fly!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Anonymous December 19, 2006 - 3:28 pm

Vicki, This a wonderful post and inspirational message. Thank you! I have to admit though, I was lost at the beginning with the Peter Pan ride. Not because of anything you were writing, but because I was having trouble remembering the ride (I like fast rides). Anyway, I had to reflect back sometime to remember the ride. As such, I guess your post serves two purposes (at least for me). It helps us look to the future and remember the past at the same time. Thanks!

By the way congrats on the wiki award and keep up the great posting.

William Bishop (Bill)

Anonymous December 19, 2006 - 11:10 pm

Congratulations on the award it’s great to know that these things go to those who deserve them

Julia Colby December 21, 2006 - 12:59 pm

Vicki, Thank you for this motivational post. I printed it out and it is hanging by my desk. When I am feeling the need for some encouragement, I will read your post.

Thank you for all the great work you do with your blog. Your blog is my favorite and for a small town girl — you have truly made a HUGE impact on this global community.

Congratulations on your blog nomination and your wiki award. You deserve it.

Kelly Christopherson December 21, 2006 - 4:25 pm

Vicki, although we haven’t met, I have a great sense of who you are as a person through your words. Sometimes great people do not become history book entries but they are great none the less because they touch the lives and hearts of people around them. In a world that has been tainted by scandal and more often sees the dark side of individuals, people like you are needed to demonstrate to children that hope, love and kindness can be attributes of a successful person. Your humility despite what you have accomplished is refreshing. Congratulations on your award. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous May 18, 2007 - 4:08 pm


One of the best posts I have read in quite sometime. Consider: I am a lawyer by trade and my partner embezzled close to 1 million dollars from our principal client and my wife had an affair with her best friend’s husband. I have four small kids and am starting life over at 41.

Let me know if you would like to respond and I can provide you my email address.

Comments are closed.

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