Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's the joy in the journey

I can recall the first time I ever heard that idea mentioned: joy in the journey. I really loved the sound of it, but it has taken a long while for the accuracy of that comment to truly resonate. It feels like it should be the destination, whether realized or not. It feels like it should be the vehicle, the mechanics of getting there, the attempt... but it is the slowing down and watching, the true glimpses of life through the windshield.

Big day. I loved my classes, but I could feel my energy being actually sucked out into the room. It takes a lot to DO teaching. I always knew it, but something about today was different. I had a marvelous time in my classes. They are huge! Big talk, big room, big enrollment.

My schedule is just full. Today had some firsts: I have a couple students with special needs, and this is exciting to me. One young boy is autistic and blessed with the gift of writing! His soul, his passion, and his awareness of a world he doesn't appear to inhabit... it completely humbles and blesses all who know him. His classmates appreciate him, and that is truly fantastic. They elected him secretary, and he immediately began to write up the meeting.

26 new "amigos" in Spanish... It took the whole hour to select our cities, select our Spanish names and learn to introduce ourselves...One junior boy elected to be Zorro... The idea of claiming that name was intoxicating to him. I will have to caution him about jumping out of the window on a passing horse!!! On to the "big kid" world of the Spanish alphabet. They had so much fun I severely doubt anyone will drop out.

Then the final hour arrived, and total weariness had invaded all of us. I could see it in their eyes. The eleven composition students took on the challenge to write a three paragraph definition: Who am I? Who am I NOT? and Who will I become? We also used the magic autumn wand to give ourselves three wishes, two for ourselves and one for someone in the room. It is truly a moment when a gentle giant with rage issues takes a little wand with oak leaves stuck on the end and waves it over himself. His ankle bracelet from the last bout with the law took that moment to beep and beep and beep... I had wished for an amazing figure and the ability to run again (since I can't even walk!) and for him to experience success this year in his classes... He nervously stomped his feet to get the bracelet to stop the alarm, and he wished to be rich, for a classmate to be fantastic at basketball, and that the law had never heard his name.... Aw....

It is what it is... I just know I need energy! and lots of it....


Becky K. said...

What a fabulous first day. You have such a teacher's heart. It takes someone as dedicated as you are to get through the noise that is normal life these days.

You rock!

Here's to an awesome year.

Becky K.

Laurie said...

Wow - what a first day! Amazing students, amazing teacher. Lucky all.

Please update about your injured former student. So sad, yet so touching that he had so recently contacted you in such a dramatic way.

Happy Fall!

Laurie S. (I have an only son, too - turned 15 two weeks ago.)