It’s been over a year since posting anything on my blog. Perhaps I should be castigated with severe punishments, as I always chastise my students for not writing daily. However, writing happened. In the background, away from screens, on guarded notebooks holding all my inner fears, gatekeepers to my innermost unmentionables. I’ve had some very disappointing moments this last year-and-a-half, and I’ve had some beautiful moments of reflection and growth. I have made it through the gauntlet and have come out to a new set of challenges.
For those who don’t know me, I have been in education (formally) since about the summer of ’99. It’s been a challenging time of learning, adjusting, dreaming, crying, hoping, despairing, and simply being. Education is not for those ‘who cannot do,’ it’s for those who help build those who do do (snap your fingers if you know why this is funny in K-12). Throughout the whole journey, I have had one constant: students. Their inner gooey part of them that is their egos, self-esteem, feelings, emotions, and even their younger version of themselves that travels with each of them on a daily basis. It is these components of each of my kiddos that have driven me to distraction and encouraged me to trek through the hardest of days, days where I often considered a career change, not a career rebirth. Through it all, I’ve managed to continue in this career, waking up daily to the challenges that come with the terrain of being a simple educator.
I pray. I pray. I pray.
Today I am back in the halls of academia, working again with all of those who come to the buildings we populate with hope, fear, and dreams. Every time I park my car and walk away from it, I set my armor, chinks and all, firmly against my body and hope today makes me a better person. I pray that all those who will share that day with me also make it out alive, better people for having been together, living a shared experience. I pray that they don’t become a statistic (e.g. drive-by shooting, a victim of abuse, neglect, silence, etc.). I pray that I am able to help all those who cross my path. I pray that I am able to make even a minimal shift for the positive, even if it means it comes off my account. I pray that when I go to bed at night, or wherever I may fall, I sleep with a clear heart and conscience, knowing full well I did everything in my power and held nothing back. I pray I NEVER hurt anyone, even unintentionally (even those I cannot stand). I pray. I pray. I pray.
I am blessed.
This year I am at a new school, working in a new area, employed by a new district and new boss, and working with a new group of individuals who make my team a dream to work with. To say that God has blessed me would be a gross understatement. In less than a month I have learned much more than I thought I would, and it is safe to say the whole year will be the same. Education is not an easy career to choose, but like other service jobs which haven’t the pay to match the demands, it is a fulfilling one that both helps me sleep at night and robs me of it just as frequently. It is not a career that will likely become obsolete, either.
Off, and on, again.
So today, I am once again inside a building that houses things. The hallways pulse with moving cells of dreams and insecurities, blanketed with interstitial demands of constant movement toward a location, a goal to be attained. The classrooms house the cells that take what new learning they must and then fashion artifacts anew, making new things possible and expelling what the body finds pernicious and unsupportive to life. The generation of all this movement within makes this building vibrant, humming constantly with the signs of life within, working in tandem with its environment and moving forward as it glides through obstacles with relative ease. It is the working environment of a living organism. A school. A home. A people. A dream. All of these things make up the building where I work and dream. It is what draws me in, receptors ready to lock on and force me to see, sense, hear, and feel. I look within and find myself embedded, a part of this buzzing organism in constant motion. I am where I need to be, and I find this natural. Stress is harmful to your health but only when it is in excess of what stress is actually good, a good that pushes us beyond our comfort zones and makes us look within and find a different part of ourselves we may not have been introduced to. My building makes me want to better myself and, by extension, those around me. This is just where I need to be. It is where I am meant to be. I am the next in a long line of people in my field I share biology and environment with. I am an educator. I wouldn’t want to be anything but what I am today.
I am the product of my mother’s experiences as an educator and my father’s applications and inspiration as a reader. Both educators in their own rights. And I love them both. And I love my building.