Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life

Monday morning, two of my students came by before the bell to explain their situation.  A good friend of theirs and her brother, in 7th and 8th grade at our school respectively, had been in a bad car crash up north over the weekend.  Their dad was killed, and both of the kids are in critical condition.  They were going around to ask homeroom teachers to have their kids make cards for the family the let them know they are in our thoughts and prayers.  I haven't had either of the kids, but it brings me back to years when I *have* had kids who have lost parents during the school year or who have recently experienced loss.  

It's tough. It's hard to teach when you know your students are hurting and thinking of their friends and wondering if they'll come back home.  Life events like this always make you think of your own life and how lucky we are to have our days. I haven't had any close family loss aside from grandparents, but we have had some tough life circumstances thrown our way, and I did get 89 days to meditate about life and death while I was on strict bed rest with our second son (that's on *this* blog, though, and on our Caring Bridge site.)

We got information on the funeral for the dad today via email from our principal, and that wasn't easy either. It hit a lot closer to home when I read the obituary--and realized that their father was only 38 years old. Only 38. The same age and graduating year as my husband. One year older than me. Too close to home.

And then beauty happens at the same time; I had a baby niece born Friday morning at 9:56am to my brother and his wife and a baby nephew born Saturday morning at 9:56am to my husband's sister and her husband. New life. New possibilities. Pureness and love.

The life circle mixed in with the darkness that comes with winter in Minnesota is pulling on me right now. I need clarity and time to center. I need more hours in the day so I can get done what needs to get done...grading the tests that are waiting for me, lesson planning for our current unit which has been reworked into an inquiry unit of study + free verse  poetry. Time to cultivate a closer bond with my homeroom. Time to clean my classroom. Time to grade late work and get grades in. Time to spend with my husband. 

Time to take baby steps in the right direction. Time to honor what we do well.  And of course, time to love up my 2-yr-old and 5-yr-old sons and the new babies in our life.

Y'ever feel  like this?  What's in your toolbox to get through the tough days of teaching, the tough parts of the school year? 

From my toolbox?   Among a lot of other things, wise words. I just watched this video of Brene Brown on vulnerability...things like this offer me some solace and perspective.



Breathe in, breathe out :)

Michelle

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