Adversity itself is not what defines us. It is how we react to that adversity and the choices we make that creates who we are and how we will persevere. The Fire Within: Lessons from defeat that have ignited a passion for learning is a compilation of stories from amazing educators who have faced personal adversity head-on and have become stronger people for it. They use their newfound strength to support the students and teachers they work with. They are sharing their stories with a hope that others in the same situations might not feel alone, knowing that in our darkest hours, when our situations feel the most hopeless, is when we develop the extraordinary characteristics that make us who we are at our very cores.
In addition to the powerful and inspirational stories, there is a chapter included on trauma and how it rewires our brain, as well as the effects of Secondary Trauma, especially as it affects someone who is still dealing with their own fallout from traumatic experiences. This chapter also includes mindfulness activities that support coping and healing. As teachers, we often don’t like to share our stories of adversity because we feel like we need to be strong for the little people we work with, but oftentimes our struggles give us strengths that are unique to us and support our work with others. When people fight through adversity, they either choose to live in their sorrow, or they use what they’ve learned to become a better servant of others. Everyone has a story. We are hopeful that ours will inspire other educators to discover their superpowers, too!