…and with it, a deep sense of reflection, purpose, wistfulness.
In some ways I’ll miss these summer days. Free from the anxiety of evaluation and teaching, I think I bloomed a little this summer, reclaiming parts of myself that had long been forgotten in the tumult of first-year-teaching. it’ll be hard to leave this life. but in other ways, I miss my school and I miss my students and I miss my teacher-friends. Our little family grew even closer this summer. Happy hours and birthday celebrations, planning parties at coffee shops and long group texts about anything and everything. I am blown away by the depths of the friendships I made this past year and buoyed by their non-linear nature; though the specific time and context and circumstance of our friendship may change, we will remain friends forever.
One of our closest friends moved away at the beginning of the summer and on one of her last nights in town we all gathered at my apartment. We had a lovely homemade dinner and wine and reminisced over all this year has meant to us. and then we made a promise. In June 2018, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’ll all come back for the graduation ceremony of our favorite eighth graders. Promises are sacred, and it’s one we’re intent on keeping.
My summer spent in the private sector has been enlightening in all sorts of ways. I am grateful for the opportunity to do something so radically different for a summer and also grateful for the clarity it’s provided for me. I have now decided I will most definitely be teaching a third year. I am deeply called to this life and I didn’t realize how much I love it until I worked 9-5 in a cubicle doing things that are…different, shall we say. Sure, there are things about teaching that I will need to change in order for this to be sustainable for two more years. I need to plan differently and grade differently – set more work-life boundaries, I suppose. this job will suck everything from you and it’s up to me to put the brakes on that. But a blessed life is one risked well. and I’m proud to live a life I love.
In less than two weeks I will be at professional development for the district, helping to plan professional development for the 8th grade English team. I’m trying to brace myself for the rollercoaster that will be this year but I don’t know what I can do except hold on and prepare for the ride of a lifetime.
In the meantime…
while cleaning my school bag, I discovered a stack of thank-you notes from the last few days of school. They’d been caught in the whirlwind of classroom-cleaning and Field Day and all the goodbyes. Here’s an excerpt from my favorite:
You taught me to show more gratitude and be more thankful for people in our lives. Thanks to you I say “I love you” more. You inspire me to live a beautiful life like you do. Thank you!!!!!
How could I ever leave this life?