Ruth’s Memoir Monday: I remember.

I remember lazy summer days with nothing to do but read a book cover-to-cover.

I remember summers filled with professional development nearly every week.

I remember dinner conversations that were entirely devoted to the happenings of my classroom.

I remember reading as many professional books as I could get my hands on.

I remember arriving at school at 6 am and not leaving until 7:30 pm.  I remember doing this at least once a week during the summer.

I remember sitting and daydreaming a summer afternoon away with hopes for my incoming students.

I remember filling notebooks with swarms of teaching ideas and plans.

I remember dedicating my entire being to the walls of my classroom. 

It wasn’t all that long ago, and yet, somehow it seems like a lifetime. 

Today I don’t have the luxury of time that I did three years ago.  Today I must walk away from work in the afternoon.  Today I must stay home until the last possible moment to allow enough rest for the three little lives dependent on me. 

Today my love of motherhood and the lessons learned in this role have done more for my ability to educate than a thousand professional books. 

Today filling notebooks with the stories of the simple moments, the everyday happenings of my family of five has helped me become a better teacher of writing than a million websites ever could have done.

Today helping a four year old learn appropriate boundaries has done more than a month’s worth of professional development workshops.

Today reading 30+ children’s books each week has helped me find more ways to connect to students than those suspense novels ever did.

Today daydreaming about the kind of teachers I hope my children have, gives me a greater insight into my own ability.

Today my focus has shifted.

And because of it, I am a better teacher.  I am more efficient, more effective, and more realistic.  As I look into a new school year — a year when I have a first grader enrolled in a district different from where I teach; a four year old enrolled in a Christian Preschool; and a two year old spending his days with Grammy, I wonder if I can sustain the schedule.  I wonder if I can continue to have the passion for teaching without squelching my love of motherhood.  And vice versa . . . can I love motherhood without squashing my ability to be an educator?

The answer is yes.  I am here for this purpose and there is enough time to enjoy it all.