In the past, I have had to go hunting for my One Little Word, but this year I just knew what it would be.
This word have hovered in my consciousness since last summer, I think. Like the hummingbirds which flitted around our farmhouse porch, this word darted in and out of view, there and yet indistinct. I felt it again when I walked back into my classroom, it was hiding in the shadows of all the boxes I unpacked , all the books I reshelved, and every desk I cleaned off and readied. Of course, when “my room” was “our room” again, filled with bright-eyed and exuberant children, I sensed its joyful presence flitting about here and there once again.
But, the Fall also brought sorrow and challenges. I thought of this word, went searching for it, and felt at times that it was mocking me. Sometimes, it is simply hard to believe.
Then came the holidays, and all my children returned home. We had a “just us” Christmas, filling our souls with the sounds of each others’ laughter, stories, hopes, and dreams. In those quiet days, I felt my word slip out of the shadows and into the light at last.
So little in life is for certain; but some things always hold true – I need to believe that they do.
I may be far away from those I love, my parents who live in London in particular. But I believe that our love endures, that it travels the many miles on our behalf and wraps its arms around us every hour of every day.
My children may stumble and struggle from time to time, as they try to find their own paths in life. But I believe that all the love and faith and sense of purpose that my husband I have tried to instill in them from their very first moments, will lead them to their true north. I believe in them.
There will always be challenges in my work; education, after all, is a battleground of conflicting values and agendas these days. So much that impacts my profession is beyond my control, and navigating its stormy (often muddy) waters can at times be exhausting, and at others seem pointless. But I believe that there is something essentially sacred about teaching; we have a chance to make every school day count in the lives of our students, to commit ourselves anew to their learning lives, to live the spirit of this, shared by Kylene Beers this morning:
Yes, my word is out and about with me these days…I believe.
I teach Writing Workshop, Language Arts and Social Studies to sixth graders at a middle school in suburban New Jersey. This blog is my attempt to capture all the "stuff" that goes into my teaching life - the planning, the dreaming, the reading, the preparing, the hoping and (above all) the kids.
Please note that the content of this blog is my own. It does not reflect the opinions of my employer.