Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 21: When I think of teaching, what makes my heart swell...

     When I walked my son into school this year, it brought back so many 'school' feelings for me, albeit an elementary school versus a high school.  The feel of the building, the bustle of busyness in the office, the navigation of the halls.  I loved working in a school for many reasons, and the familiar sensory cues bring some of my memories back.

     I remember I loved the feeling of being prepared- of walking in the dark, early morning to be the first one who turned on the lights.  I had a single brew coffee maker & would enjoy that first cup alone.  I remember not all days were that way, many more chaotic, but that was my perfect start: getting everything staged to turn over each class in succession with ease.

     I remember some students better than others, mostly for the interactions we had.  My memory is wired so that it was difficult for me to learn names until I could pair the name with some kind of memorable characteristic.  I always felt a little badly for not having their names more quickly, and sadly I have forgotten names after some time has passed.  I remember faces & recalling them brings me great joy.  I laugh a little to myself because my mental images of most of the students (whom I don't see now on a regular basis) are still the image of them as 18 year old kids, and they are all at least 24 years old now, most are between 25-28.  They are older now than I was as their teacher, and that revelation has made me laugh!

     I loved my students - I loved being a part of their lives for those brief months.  I loved pouring out myself for them to grow.  I loved seeing them feel success & pride & joy.  I loved being able to impact their world, hopefully for the better in small ways or in big.  I loved really 'clicking' with some students & finding life long friends.  I loved how smart many of my student were, and truth be told there were some incredibly talented ones.  I love seeing them now, via social media, and being amazed by their journey.  I love seeing them now, in person, and being able to look into their adult faces & hear about their lives.  I loved being their teacher, and I'm so glad they receive me in warmth when we meet.

     I loved my peers/colleagues at school.  I loved bouncing ideas back and forth, working through different problems, and hearing theirs as well.  I did not have a close relationship with many of the faculty, but there were a handful who hold a special place in my heart.  I could not have been as successful as I was in teaching, if I had not been surrounded by such wonderful educators.  Even when the interactions kept me from finishing all the work I was grading, the time sacrifices were very much worth it in the long run.

     I loved participating in the extracurriculars at school.  I sponsored a lacrosse club one year, which was a ton of fun to spend time in a different setting with the students.  I was an assistant coach for track one year, and the effect was similar, but that more of the kids weren't in my classes & didn't know me already.  I came away with the opportunity to help support & coach the team to our school's first district championship, ever! (though not directly due to my efforts of course- not taking credit!).  I came to football games, soccer games, I kept the clock for basketball games.  I did the silly teacher expeditions & even did some tumbling during halftimes, ha!  I attended drama productions and was able to co-MC the boys' Mr. Wildcat event.  I chaperoned prom, every year!  I loved it - all of it.  Gosh, I didn't remember half of these things until I tried to write them down.

     I loved when my hubs the fire fighter had to come by the school because we were in their district.  I was so proud of my strong officer - and the way students respond to the fire fighters in respect was always a moment gratitude & pride for me.  I do not get to 'show off' my hubs in many ways, but I feel like those moments were kind of little show boat moments for me & my hot fireman hubs. ;-)

     School is something that I loved participating in & still hold incredibly fond.  I suppose maybe that is why I desire for my sons to love school too; because of all it stands for in my heart&mind.  It holds amazing potential for so many avenues in life, so many choices & roads to be explored.  There isn't any platform quite like it, in my experiences, to propel you in the path of your choosing for life.  School is hard though; it's meant to be.  I think my memories of the hard have not colored my thinking as much as my memories of the lovely.  No wonder I'm such an idealist for my boys experiences.

Lord, help me continue to take the slow, deep breaths & find peace in the journey.  Thank you for helping me work out why I have struggled, and continue to teach me how to support my boys just as their mom, not their teacher.  Thank you for the gift of school, no matter how differently it may come to each of us.  Amen.


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