A sailor plods along the narrow streets of his city.
Glad to be home on leave and yet something is alack.
The salty air. the gulls. fog of morning. the sun upon his back.
She, the sea, calls him.
Though life ashore is pleasant with dear loved ones close,
something is always amiss without the kiss of spray upon his appled cheek.
He is in love with the sea, though he know not how.
The teacher plods along the grocery aisle,
glad for summer and yet something invisible calls.
The salty sweat of youth. the parents. squeals in the halls.
Shiny youthful faces call her.
Though summer life is pleasant with dear loved ones close,
teaching is sprayed softly like graffiti on her appled heart.
She is in love with teaching, though she know not how.
This is me.
To explain my love of teaching is like a sailor trying to explain his (or her) love of the sea. It cannot be done. For one with salt in his veins, the sea is part of the composition of his loins and he cannot shake the embrace of her waters.
I speak as one with teaching in my veins, the classroom with all its bustle and hustle is part of the very core of my being. I would love for students and teachers to sit upon my grave and have a class just so I could be near to it when I pass away. I cannot shake the love I have for my students.
I think if it were only for the love of the students... teachers would teach forever.
And yet, I almost quit at the end of the first day of school today. It wasn't the students. It was all of the other "stuff" that is on my increasingly impossible list.
And yet, I really keep this to myself. I don't like whiners who have lives that never change. I believe that problems without action are like a chafe that turns into a bed sore. If one doesn't move, the bed sore can gangrene and progress to further pain. Problems and stress are a signal that something is wrong.
So, after much prayer and propping up my feet, I've been working on plans to take in on Monday to help this work load become manageable. An unmanageable workload doesn't help anyone and if it just kills me, it takes away everything my family needs. So, think of me next week as I continue to look at my life, pare down and get things back to a manageable state so that I can give my family what they need of me.
I also love blogging. Conversing here with you and sharing things that will make your classroom a better place is a dear, wonderful part of my life. Honestly, when I look at it, my favorite "hobby" is blogging. I've missed it as I've thrown myself into a list of over 100 things to support the network and get my classes started! And in many ways, blogging IS teaching. I'm sharing with you what I've learned and also love it when you teach me.
Mid Course Corrections
And yet if you (and I) are looking at things that are totally unmanageable and do nothing to change things we are a sad case. Two of my favorite quotes from places I know not where:
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
I love teaching. And yet, I have make the changes necessary to teach at the school I love with all my heart without it killing me.
There are so many of us who are this way... and yet it is the other things that push us away from our bliss.
I don't have answers for dealing with the burdens. We all have them. Like the sea, teaching can drown us. And only we know when the things are pushing us to our breaking point. Act before you break, I will.
Still, it is worth it. Teaching is a part of me and who I am. To extricate teaching from me would be as impossible as banishing a sailor from the sea.
So, teachers. As we begin the new year and struggle to adjust our schedules and lives to all that teaching is, here's to you. Teaching still remains the most noble calling on earth.
Teaching is often lonely, and yet, like the sailor, we go back until it claims us or until the cost becomes too great.
Keep the faith.
Count the Cost by Andreal. Photo is licensed from iStockPhoto and not for reproduction.
teaching education sailing inspiration stress hope change