If there is a will, there is a way. If there is no way, we have to find one. And if we can't find, we have to create one. 2018 was the life changing year for me to create my own ways and survive rather than giving up.

Teaching is the most respectable job in the world. I have grown up hearing this as I hail from a teaching background. And my own journey as a teacher has made me very much believe this. When I look back at the years I have spent in this field, it gives me immense satisfaction and a bundle of happiness filled with countless memories to be cherished forever. For me every year has been full of learning and growing all the time. Those various opportunities to upgrade myself, the quest to learn something new, those moments of praise and appreciation,various experiments in the class, healthy interactions with learners and expanding my PLN; all these have broadened my approach towards teaching and strengthened me as a teacher.

With another year gone by when I think about 2018, it has been the year to bless me with abundant opportunities to grow as a teacher, wrapped with myriad memories of joy to learn from, to reflect over and rekindle them time and again. But at the same time it's been a year of self realization and awakening for me. It has revived and empowered me as a teacher. There are times in a teacher's life that bring despair, frustration and that make you question the very purpose of our job, which can often lead to burn out. I too neared this line of burn out and found myself lamentably exhausted.

The instances of achievements were often hounded by negativily and criticism. Sometimes things didn't turn out the way they should, the other times it seemed there was no way left to continue to grow professionally which put me into the perpetual fear of falling prey to this negativity and being restricted to stagnancy. But as it is rightly said, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This year has enabled me to cast away the shackles of frustration and gear up again. Many a times I considered myself powerless, dejected, getting lost amidst the troubles and thus losing my identity.

The most significant thing that happened to me in the last year is the revival of my faith in myself, in my abilities. Whenever I found things not going according to my plan, I started exploring further directions and paths. Instead of giving up, I reflected and recognised my shortfalls and started working on the best possible solutions. I learnt to redesign my concept of CPD and this redesigning enriched me in every possible way. Those informative webinars, witty write ups, estimable books I read, sharing of ideas with other fellow teachers, enriching dialogues over social media, expressing and sharing my thoughts with others have all addedup to make every occasion a learning moment for me. I learnt to find joy in the little things which revealed to me the other side of growth. When there was no room for hope or any other motivation, the little achievements of my learners sprang into a pleasant blossom and inspired me to continue my efforts. When my learning was delimited to four walls, those four walls presented me with innumerable other ways to seek new dimensions and directions of growth.

This has helped me take control of my life and its decisions rather than being a victim of circumstances and regretting things which are beyond my control. Life is like a ride on a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, steeps and curves. A glimmer of happiness is often followed by a dark cloud of melancholy. But every dark cloud has a silver lining as well. And I have realized that nobody else but we ourselves can bring back this silver lining and let the frustration fade away. This realization has made me a more confident, positive teacher and look at things from a wider perspective, to not give up things so easily but to try hard, building a road out of the blocks and defying the odds. So now I don't wait for the circumstances to change. I own the responsibility for my professional development and I decide the ways to pursue it.

An important lesson I have learnt in the last year is whatever may come my way, I need to keep moving. Problems will arise but the solutions lie with myself. This power of self belief has made me overcome the troubles and moments of despair and rise again with vigour. 2018 has bestowed me with this self confidence and armed with it I hope for many such years full of motivation and learning to come.

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