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A Fresh Start

I had that feeling you get – there is no word for this feeling – when you are simultaneously happy and sad and angry and grateful and accepting and appalled and every other possible emotion, all smashed together and amplified. Why is there no word for this feeling?

Perhaps because the word is “healing” and we don’t want to believe that. We  want to believe healing is purer and more perfect, like a baby on its birthday. Like we are holding it in our hands. Like we’ll be better people than we’ve been before. Like we have to be.

from Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar  by Cheryl Strayed

Before heading into work yesterday, I posted on Facebook: “In some weird and wonderful way, this “end” feels like a “beginning.”‘

Well, after a little speed bump first thing in the morning and then a summer kick-off shopping spree, my official calendar restarts TODAY, June 1, 2013.

Our teacher work day was yesterday, 8th grade recognition the day before that.  The weeks and months before that…a total blur.

To say that I was ready for the year to end is an understatement.  All teachers say that pretty much. But for me, I was so done with this year and all things associated with it.

That may sound horrible coming from a teacher who blogs blogged religiously about teaching.  It’s kind of embarrassing.  I tried a few times since January to return to blogging but my heart wasn’t in it; it just wasn’t the right time.

I feel there is no graceful way to come back into this and act like nothing ever happened. Because a lot did.

A. lot.

In every part of my life – my family, my relationships, and my job – I faced some major changes.

And to be expected, those changes were my primary focus and probably still will be for a very long time. I am going to take this summer to start fresh, to think clearly, and take care of me….

Starting today.

Part of that is working on this blog again. It will help me with the changes I will face at school next year (I’m teaching 7th grade!) and it will bring me a piece of happiness that has been missing from my life the last five months.

I’ll have to start small and get back in the groove, but I am excited to try.

To get going, I’ll leave  you with two sweet stories from the biggest parts of my life: my family and my students.

As I  whined the other night that I was “so ready for this school year to end,” Ian told me he “didn’t want it to end because 4th grade was the best school year EVER!”

How amazing is that? My 10-year-old son, who just 5 months ago was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, saying THIS was the best year of his life?!?

He loves school and he loves his teacher. He loves his friends. He loves playing baseball and he’s a happy boy.  And his proclamation let me know I did my job as a mom to make sure his life remained as normal and happy as possible.

(Incidentally, my new 8th-grader Tweedle Dee is beyond thrilled to be out of school for three months!)

The last two weeks of school we worked on our poetry project in my Resource Language Arts.  As I’ve written about before, and as it must make perfect sense to fellow writers, you really learn a lot about your students through their writing.

One of my favorite poems was written by a student who started with me later in the year and really grew on me, despite some very challenging traits.

Written by a boy who has frequently written about being the target of bullying and is a self-proclaimed "anti-bully."

Written by a boy who has frequently written about being the target of bullying and is a self-proclaimed “anti-bully.”

This poem seriously just touched my heart and gave me the greatest joy.  There were many days in the past few months when I felt like I was trudging through the motions with my class. But this little poem made me realize I am still providing my students with a safe and happy place to learn.

You see, I’ve realized I’ve been too hard on myself the last few months. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to get over these road blocks in a timely fashion. Healing takes time.  For once, I am going to let myself be a little less than “perfect” and know that even on my worst days, I am not so bad.

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9 responses

  1. There is no poetry at all in the Core Curriculum. Stupid core curriculum.

  2. What an inspiration you are! I enjoyed reading your message this morning. I have one more week with students (their last day is June 7) and then two teacher workdays on June 10 and 11. I ALWAYS look forward to the summer to recharge my batteries! I’ll also be planning for a new subject that I will teach next year, too. Nothing ever stays the same! Enjoy your much-deserved time off with your family!

    1. Thank you Tracy! I can’t imagine another week…YIKES! Good luck! What will you be teaching next year?

  3. Cheers to new beginnings and learning to let yourself be a little less than perfect. Both are liberating! I’m excited to hear what comes next for you, good things are usually around the corner from our biggest challenges. 🙂

    1. Thank you Olivia!

  4. p.s. my two blogs are “you, me, a puppy & a bean” & “sombreros y salsa” 🙂

  5. Blessings to you as you start on your new “beginning”. Its hard to realize that teachers are people too, even us teachers have to keep realizing it, every day. One thing i did to address similar challenges in my own life was to create second blog. One is my “mommy” blog, and one is my “teacher” blog. Although the posts often intersect, it gives me that space i need when i need to take a break from one, to focus on the other one–and still get that “writing therapy” i need. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Good thinking about the two blogs!

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