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, May 16, 2015
Walk With Me
With the end of the school year dawning (ever so slowly) on the horizon, it's impossible not to start thinking ahead - to summer...to next year... And with that thinking comes a slow realization that a lot of things are about to change, some things in small ways and some things in larger ways.
Recently, one of my co-workers explained how her husband received one of those "make him an offer he can't refuse" job opportunities, and that's incredible. But, sadly, it means she and her husband are packing up and moving to Ohio. I was pretty upset when she sat me down to tell me a few weeks ago (though I was trying very hard to remain visibly calm and happy for her), but it sure hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. And I cried. I mean, I really cried. (Thankfully, I was the only one home.) This woman was my co-teacher for two years when I first moved to Chicago and taught in 4th grade, and we've been friends for nearly four years now. She's such a calming, welcoming presence at school, and it's very difficult to imagine what it will be like day in and day out without her next year.
It's important to take a step back and realize, though, that when you sign on to a school (or any job, really), you have to realize that people's life events will bring them in and out of your own. Some people are with you for a long time, and some remain with you for only a short (or relatively short) while. And each time change happens it usually brings various strong emotions right along with it.
But, as the quote above states, "change is inevitable" - it's always going to happen, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. We can't control others and their decisions, and we just can't control our own lives, as much as we like to think we are able to do so. But what we can do is make sure that with each change we take time to reflect on what certain people have taught us while walking alongside us in our journeys.
My co-worker taught me patience and compassion, especially toward our students. She helped me realize that it's never possible to have enough hugs. Together, we found something good in each day in the classroom, and, when I moved into my current middle school position, she supported and encouraged me 100% because she knew it would be the perfect position for me.
I know I'll see her again - her sons still live in Chicago, so I know she'll come back to spend time with them and that she'll pop in the school too. And we have our common Michigan ties, so maybe we'll run into each other on Mackinac Island again one day. (That's a story for another day.)
To be cliche and to borrow from Wicked: "Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good."
Let us be grateful for those whom we walk life's journey with, whether it be for only a few steps or for many miles.