I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ups and Downs of the First Week Back

Who would have predicted that the first week back after break would have included a cold weather day mid-week?

I sure didn't...but I'm glad we had it. And, although some of my co-workers may disagree, I am glad we just had one. Getting back in the routine of school this week has been a struggle all its own, and when you throw days off into the mix, it just gets harder.

But, we persevered! And, even though we had rough times, we made it! Sixth graders are plowing through Hobbit; seventh grade learned about the 12 Days of Christmas, Epiphany, and personal & community prayer (i.e. Mass); and eighth grade began their Confirmation unit as they gear up to receiving the Sacrament in early March.

For the most part, most students seemed to be interested in the material (and generally happy to be back in school/routine), but some were more interested in each other than the content. Now, you're probably thinking, Duh! Kelly, they're teenagers. (And this is true...very true.) But it still caused a bit of frustration on my end...So, I waited...a lot... And, generally, we accomplished the objectives we set out to accomplish.

One thing that worked especially well for both 7th and 8th grades on Friday was the Anytime Examen (from God in All Things). It was very calming (music- and narration-wise), and the students actually sat there quietly thinking. It was long enough to get some good reflection in, but it was short enough for their limited attention spans. I would highly recommend it (or any of their other downloadable Examens) for both high school and middle school students in addition to any adult's personal use. Heck, I may even play it at the beginning of my sixth grade Language Arts class to see if it can help calm them down in the morning...Hmm...

But, yes, it's good to be back. And, as the Christmas season wraps up on Sunday (with the Baptism of Jesus), it's a relevant time to look back on the holiday season and the start of this new year. We should ask ourselves these questions: Am I keeping my resolutions? And, more importantly, are these resolutions ones I want to do as part of a checklist or as part of a true effort to improve my personal, spiritual, and physical self? Hopefully, we are aiming for the latter (improvement over checklist) - it's harder to achieve this, but I've come to realize, it's not so good to go through life treating it like a checklist because the meaning gets lost.

I hope you all continue to have a blessed new year! Enjoy the weekend, cold weather and all!

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