Grab My Hand in the Dark
By, Michael Earnshaw
January 13, 2021
I’ve been very open and honest with my crew, my PLN when explaining the roller coaster of a ride of emotions that I went through for the majority of 2020. Look, I know, I’m not that special and ALL of us have been on this ride. The point is not to steal any sympathy from you. Since adopting my #OneWord2021 PRISM I have been looking at everything in my life from a different lens. My purpose in this blog is to hopefully help someone who may still be stuck on the same ride I was on find their way off.
Growing up in the punk rock and hardcore scene I’ve learned to know the importance of having a crew, and now in my educational career, a PLN. Josh and I discuss this tenet of UNITY on multiple episodes of Punk Rock Classrooms. We are truly stronger together. Together we can help one another reach our own goals, get through roadblocks and struggles, and have a shoulder to cry on or ear to lend when someone needs it most. Life can downright suck at times, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns no matter how much any of us wish, or pretend, it is. It’s during those times that the unicorns ate some burritos with expired sour cream or contaminated beans, flying high above us just letting it all go, that we need to turn to our crew.
Now I grew up in punk and hardcore, but I also have a little, ok, a BIG emo side to me. I can’t recount how many nights were spent screaming along, alone, to Dashboard Confessional, The Starting Line, or Jimmy Eat World. Maybe a tear or two escaped my eye sockets, but I was alone so there’s no proof, your word against mine.
Now because I have that inner-emo kid still inside, he came out in 2020. What do I mean? I locked myself away from my crew. Part of it was out of my control, we were forced to work remotely, again, as most of the educators in the world did. I could have reached out to our staff, made phone calls, texts, Zooms, but I didn’t. I didn’t make those connections because I didn’t know what to say. Here I was, the educational leader of our amazing school, and I didn’t know how to talk or listen to what our staff was going through because I didn’t know how to process what I was going through.
I still had my crew from across the world though right? All of those amazing, world-changing, eduheroes that inspire me on an hourly basis? I did, but I didn’t because of me. That emo kid was winning, telling me to just huddle up in the corner, pull my hair over my eye, throw on the headphones, and sulk. And that’s what I did.
This is no way to live. For me, for you, for anyone. We all make connections and form relationships for these very situations. It wasn’t until the Fall of 2020 that I started to reconnect. I was so fortunate to find and connect every Tuesday morning with the TeachBetter Admin Mastermind group. Like many of them say, our week doesn’t begin until Tuesday morning. I learn so much from them, more than they know, and I only hope that I can benefit them as much as they do me.
I’ve been able to get more active on Twitter and the various Voxer groups. Just hearing others, knowing we’re all going through the same struggles and frustrations, and being able to help others where I may have some insight has definitely helped to get that shaggy hair out of my eyes and sticking back up in the mohawk it should be.
This blog isn’t to just share my story of how I refound the power of a crew, a PLN. This blog is hopefully going to help someone who is stuck like I was. Know that no matter how dark the days get, those connections you’ve made, the crew that was always by your side is still there. Reach out your hand, I promise someone will grab yours and pull you up. I’m glad to be out of the dark. If you’re still in it I’ll pull you up.