Bom dia. What if we looked at obstacles as situations put in our path so we can get the blessings that come from overcoming them? How would our attitudes toward them shift with this change of perspective? #TuesdayThoughts— Julia E. Torres (@juliaerin80) January 15, 2019
My new sweet colleague ‘A’ bought me so many Secret Santa treats and goodies, it’s as if she sat next to my soul, chatted, and discovered what would delight me. I mean, dang, she really doesn’t know how much this meant. (The past two years at my previous school whoever was my Secret Santa didn’t get me squat. For real. Signed up, and bailed.)
One of the treats is a new travel mug from Starbucks, and the first day I used it I could not for the life of me figure out how to open it. Not wanting to let a travel mug get the better of me, I went as far as to look up directions on the ‘net and alas, nothing. In humble exasperation, I asked her — how do I open this thing? And of course, being the kind soul she is, she showed me, and in her funny, sweet way.
Teaching is about obstacles: observing them, reflecting, removing, and determining if they can indeed, be remedied. Most of the time I just get in my own way it seems lately, and I’m trying — sincerely trying — to keep things simple, impactful and focused. I not succeeding though. I am still caught up in the sharp threaded net of evaluations, panic over being in a provisional contract again, no tenure or safety, and it’s making me feel numb-headed and woozy. Occupational vertigo, as it were.
And as one of my favorite educational philosophers taught me, removing the obstacles and helping students discover their paths is our duty and joy.
“A teacher in search of his/her own freedom may be the only kind of teacher who can arouse young persons to go in search of their own.” – Maxine Greene
Maybe this is just what I needed: a low-risk reminder that I don’t know everything, reflection and adjustment are daily necessities and showing that vulnerability to grow and change will be my survival. While I envy those teachers who have a comfortable routine, status in their buildings, and security with their communities, students, and administration, I am not sure that is my karmic path. But at least I’ll have hot coffee while I’m on this trip.