How do I heal after a school year that’s caused me to question an awful lot about what it is that I do? That’s where I started out on June 1st, the Monday after school lets out. Well, let’s see:
1) Get grades turned in.
2) Do some professional development.
3) Throw away a lot of stuff.
4) Attend your church’s annual conference.
Wait, wait, wait…..the first three all make sense. It’s causing that break from one year to another, finishing it up and moving forward, what is #4?
Well, I attended the United Methodist Annual Conference, a grand gathering of clergy and laity members to do the work of the Church. It’s frustrating work, joyful work, and sometimes mind numbing work, but in the end, regardless of where we are as people, the finished product pushes the church forward.
Why does this make a difference?
Because being with a group of people who’s sole (or soul) purpose is to worship and praise God, you can’t go wrong there. I sat by a grumpy pastor who didn’t see the value in much of what was going on, however, the laity (regular church member) from his congregation gave him grief the ENTIRE time we were there. Both had to be in the 70s and it just struck me that they were having a ball.
Why can’t I do that?
And that’s when I feel my own healing began. Not the “God laid his hands on me” kind of healing (that’s a whole different “conflicted teacher” post), but just in a manner of I started letting go of a lot of the emotional baggage I’d gained during the year. This class did many great things, awesome, wow I can’t believe you did that (in a good way) things. I needed to be redirected to remember that. Going to the conference, seeing the pure joy on many faces reminded me that teaching can be that way as well, a place where 8 hours seems like 8 minutes and where you can go weeks without doing the same thing twice. I love my job, I love my students, and I love those over achieving crazy people I work with. THAT’s what I need to keep hold of.
I’m hoping to let go of more as the summer goes on, but if you are an educator, you know: you take all this to heart and it’s hard to clean that gunk out.
It’s a process, a slow one, but I feel better in who I am and what I’m doing.
Right now, that’s all that matters.