This January marks my fifth anniversary with Gideon. It has been five years of growth, frustration and joy, with each year bringing a new challenge. He started graduate school in 2016, and we are almost done with that journey.
That’s certainly the best thing to call it — no journey is complete without its detours, which we know all too well. There are times when we haven’t stopped to enjoy the scenery, much too focused on the destination. When you look at the big picture, it can feel overwhelming. We’ve definitely been feeling overwhelmed the past two years.
That started to change this fall when Gideon began his student teaching internship at Eureka Springs High School. Most of his program involved driving to Conway once or twice a month and completing classes online while working full time at a local hotel. He’d go to work, come home, work some more, rinse and repeat. He didn’t really get a taste of what it would be like to put the things he learned into action.
He’s been working with the English classes at Eureka Springs for three months now, and he has absolutely loved it. We’re both still pretty tired. Some days, our quality time is really him writing lesson plans and me returning emails. We don’t see much of each other anymore, but when I do see him, he’s so enthusiastic about what he’s doing.
He could talk about lesson plans all day. He’s found the thing he’s supposed to do. There’s nothing quite like seeing someone you love evolve into the person they’re meant to be. I’ve grown to love him more seeing his dedication to the students he works with, and he’s not even doing that full time yet. I can’t imagine the impact he’ll have when he gets a full-time teaching gig.
But I’m not writing this column to blow my husband’s horn. Over the past two years, we’ve both learned so much about what it takes to be successful. There are so many lovely surprises along the way. Gideon didn’t think he would even get into a master’s program, but he did. He was worried about how he’d perform on the Praxis, but he aced it. By the time he started student teaching, he felt confident enough to be himself in the classroom.
That confidence wasn’t there to start with. I’m not sure any of us are always confident in our abilities. You’ve got to do something to see how capable you are. You can get used to anything, and you can become comfortable in situations you never imagined possible. Gideon has shown me there is no limit to what you can do if you take it one day at a time and believe in yourself.
Big goals are really just a bunch of small tasks put together. If you’re struggling with something like that right now, I hope you know you’ve got this. You’re capable of more than you believe. Never give up — every step counts, no matter how small.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com