Striving to Slow

by gillis

Lately I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed that I’ve completely forgotten to be on the lookout for the marvelous. How sad.

Today I am pushing that frenzy aside to let in some other things.

I’m so thankful that my son didn’t tantrum tonight. I enjoyed helping him into bed and felt my grinchy little heart grow two more sizes while he fought sleep and I sang our old lullabies softly. We both surrendered and we both won.

These weeks before the holiday break, when the students from dysfunctional homes start to circle the drain and the other kids buzz around like they’re drinking jet fuel for breakfast, I am trying to keep my thoughts centered on their needs instead of my lesson plans. Teaching can be difficult work, but it’s also amazing to be able to connect with kids at this magical between-point in their lives. I think I am finally starting to get it, finally seeing how nothing beyond the relationships really matter. Eventually they’ll all figure out how to read more fluently if they learn to love stories. Their writing will improve when they  are shown what they are doing well and how important their voice is to the community. And their cell phones will have calculators built in, so they probably won’t end up homeless if they don’t master reducing fractions this year.

I’m marveling at how things ease up when I stop pushing my way through the day. I hope I can resist the impulse to strive inappropriately. I want to nurture the small voice that says “good, good” and tamp down the one insisting, “more, faster, better” all the time.

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