There's nothing that makes a teacher run home humbled grateful for life in general faster than a day at work teaching sixth graders-- sixth graders in Brooklyn, sixth graders any where. Teachers work! Whatever a teacher thought was upsetting or an unconscious grudge to hold becomes futile. Seriously. I can attest to this.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed earlier this week, not accepting
the day, literally dragging my feet (thankfully, in my eighth year I can
mask this well-- in thoughtfully-accessorized outfits, preparedness, even with a
hint of blush). I had to step out of myself to do my job and do it
well. I had to put on my smile, rather I chose to put on a
pleasant face and genuinely greet the students who greeted me as I
walked up the steps to the school building. Sometimes walking
through a crowd of students waiting to enter the building feels like I'm a
celebrity on a red carpet. Performance, performance performance. That
day, I let the children speak first, because I needed to see the lessons
I had already shown by greeting daily, even when a
response wasn't given.
That day, I stepped further outside of myself as I walked up the steps
to my third floor classroom and pushed deep breathes out with
intention-- today is a good day. I am.. I am... I am. -- the
former intention from my core work in therapy and the later from last week's Super Soul Sunday with Eckhart Tolle & Oprah.
By the time I sat down to write the initial draft of this and reflect on
that day, I was over whatever had made me upset, and grateful for my
life. I am blessed. And I just wanted to hug everyone I love after
teaching that day and everyday.
Teaching continues to teach me daily. Teaching re teaches me lessons
that I forget or need to improve upon. And finally, teaching requires that I
do my spiritual work; learn my core lessons so that I don't go to work
and act out subconsciously. What I see daily is a reflection of what I
know about life: everyone has a collection of experiences that guide their behaviors one way or another. Either way, people do the best they can, and when they know better, I can only hope that they do better.
For now I'll continue doing my work of monitoring my energy, keeping my voice level, and most importantly, breathing.