I am learning a lesson this year. I teach year round, I decided a few months ago to make the leap back into middle school and in the course of this switch I had to switch tracks. To most, this does not seem like a big deal at all, but to me it means nearly twenty straight weeks of teaching, which is a little over half a year straight with no track out.
I have tried to ready myself for this long stretch, pace myself, stay ahead on paperwork, but the only thing that really matters is that I keep my attitude in check.
I remember going to football practice my sophomore year, it was probably the most challenging thing I had ever done up to my fifteenth birthday. I hated it. We would do sprints until we were exhausted and then I found out we were just getting started. I was able to do things physically that year that I still have not accomplished again in life. It was pretty amazing. It was happening to the whole football team, we were becoming stronger and stronger focused on being a team.
I noticed at some point that I am a lot better off when I think of a further off goal when in the midst of a physically or mentally stressful point. It does not help me to think of a short term break. I like to try and envision myself a bit further beyond that.
In the last couple of weeks, I have been praying and trying to think this way. Instead of thinking, only thirteen weeks left until a break, I think thirteen more weeks and I get a longer vacation than most of my friends do in a year. It helps.
I think, I am glad to have a job, when I see so many adults working in fast food restaurants that were once only held by students.
I drive through one of the poorest neighborhoods in my county each day. I do this by choice. I want to remind myself of where I am and my responsibility to help others. Oftentimes, I imagine my younger self standing next to the kids awaiting their bus. I had less challenges, but it gives me compassion.
I have been taught a lesson this week, that I must get the focus off of myself and consider others.
I realize that I started almost every paragraph with I.