Here I sit at my teacher’s desk at 6:30 in the morning. Why so early, you ask? Because it’s a gift that renews me…fills my soul. Allow me to clarify. I sit here – after a little yoga and a hot bath at home (yes, I skipped the gym this morning) - with a cup of coffee, Windham Hill playing in the background, in my pajamas (I think I have the only job in the world where one can use Pajama Day as an excuse not to get dressed), looking at the outside drizzle and expectant with what the day will bring. Today I know that I will play, teach, learn, laugh, be silly…all the while knowing that I’ve made an impact on the world – today and, hopefully, long after my time on this planet. Having a job where one can create, while surrounded by bright-eyed, eager children, is a gift like no other.
Yes, I spend many long hours working on what I love (creating authentic learning…usually through space connections), and what I don’t (the bureaucratic underpinnings that comes along with any occupation).This often means extensive hours and a struggle in balance, but it’s a choice; and one I gladly take on, because the outcomes are tenfold. Yes, there are always challenges along the way – some of them very hard lessons – but coming out on the other side makes the journey all the richer. Lest I sound utopian, it isn’t all peaches and cream. But what life-changing journeys aren’t?
I’ve been teaching for 19 years now, in both public and private schools, so I have a reference point from which to expound upon. I also have three munchkins of my own who keep me grounded, or at least they try. Nonetheless as Gene Krantz, the Lead Flight Director of Apollo 13 once shared with a group of likeminded educators and myself, I want to leave this life “well spent”. Teaching is a great gift; wrinkles and hardships included…let the day begin.