It seems the last two posts have been Sundays, so I decided to start a new day with the blog. But, to tell you the truth it has been very busy since school resumed in late August and I have been struggling to keep all of the plates spinning, or balls in the air, or even my nose above the water. You get the idea. It’s not just for me but the entire family, including Ivy. Well, maybe not Ivy, but the rest of us.
Last week, as all of us were painfully aware, was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I can remember precisely where I was and what I was doing that morning. I know all of us who remember that awful day have those memories seared into the fabric of our being, the makeup of who we are and how we look at life. Last Saturday morning, I watched Olivia play softball and was incredibly distracted by the air traffic overhead. We are close to O’Hare and there is not a day, hour or minute that an airplane doesn’t fly overhead on its way in to land or on its way to its final destination. I remembered that horrible day. Last Sunday, I went to church and listened to our pastor preach a sermon about forgiveness and moving forward on 9/11 and other issues in our lives which personally hold me back and keep me from moving forward with my life. It was a good sermon and I left energized to forgive, not forget, but to move forward and put my best foot forward, daily. It has been a struggle, but I am further ahead than I was last week and I hope to be further down that road in the weeks to come.
There are things I am good at and others I am not. First, the good things or at least few of them. I am beginning to embrace teaching Language Arts. I was hesitant at first and wanted to keep teaching social studies, my passion. Teaching LA to seventh graders is more than teaching the structure of the writing – of grammar, spelling, and punctuation – but teaching them to overcome their fear to share their thoughts and explore new ideas, and ways to express what we are thinking. This is my thirteenth year in seventh grade, it seems I’ll never graduate, but that could be a good thing. My first journey, thirty-seven years ago was a bit rocky and full of missteps. I learned a few things in those classes, but I learned more things the hard way – by experience. The most important lesson I learned was when I realized and it was only after I started teaching and was considered a veteran teacher, which it clicked; it wasn’t the content learning, but the skill learning, and relationship learning, which was most important to seventh graders. I have spent the last several years building relationships with my students, developing trust, and sneaking a content lesson in on the side. Slowly, they learn and develop new skills and apply the lessons they learned in new situations. On the other hand, I am terrible about grading papers and giving feedback to my students. So this year, I set a goal to grade papers daily and update my grades every Friday, or by every Friday. So far, I am on track, although four Friday’s hardly can be considered a goal met or even the development of a habit. Since, I am more focused on relationships; I struggle with administration – filing and organization along with several of my students. I chuckle to myself as we work toward growing in this area. It is not just a school thing, either. As I write, I piles of paper, books, and things that should be in a better place than they are surround me and close me in, if I were the slightest bit claustrophobic, I would be in trouble.
It is Saturday morning and I have a whole day head of me. It is full, like recent Saturdays, and I’ll be lucky to carve away at some of the important tasks and jobs I need to do. Sunday, will be just as full and then Monday morning will be here and it will start all over again, a new week. Olivia has softball this morning and will be pitching an inning. William has his Fall Court of Honor and will be presented with the merit badges he earned this summer as well as his second Mile Swim patch. Beth and I will be spectators, watch, and cheer our kids on as they make their own forward steps. Sunday brings, church, confirmation class, lacrosse, and Sunday dinner – time to enjoy a meal as a family before the new week begins.
It will be a busy weekend, they always all busy. However, I moving forward, working slowly at the important things, and paying attention to make sure that I continue to move forward. It is gonna be a great day, possibly the best day ever. Making the Days Count, one day at a time – even one busy weekend after the next.
How have you learned to handle the stress or stressors that a busy schedule brings?