Love Does



The angst of the next few weeks is palpable.  Kids are gearing up for school to start.  School supplies are being purchased.  First day outfits laid out.  For myself and so many of my friends, it means preparing as an educator to begin another year.  Empty plan books.  Desks to be organized.  Closets to be decluttered.  Books to be “leveled” and labelled.   Truly the lists {and lists and lists and lists} go on and on.  And thus, the angst can go on and on.

We have three new curriculum areas at my school this fall and luckily for me as a part time teacher, I only have to grapple with two, Reading and Writing.  As any compulsive, obsessed teacher does, I turned to the source of all wisdom—Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers.   But the scary thing?!? Our new reading curriculum is SO new that we are the only folks using it on the west coast.  It is truly hot off the press and we’re hoping we actually have all the supplies when school begins.  There are no “cutified” {I know that’s a word…somewhere} worksheets to be found.  There is no plan mapped out.  There is no sage advice from those who have gone before.

We are living into Oregon’s history….the trailblazers.  The Pioneers.  We are making a trail.  Creating a path.  Trying new scary things and no doubt failing sometimes.

And it’s uncomfortable.  I really like to have a framework and wisdom from others.  We have gone to training, yes, and there is a suggested, clear, laid out plan in our teacher guides.  But even our trainer, in the sweetest way possible, shrugged her shoulders a few times when met with our incessant questions and basically said, “It’s up to YOU.”  We get to make those “adjustable seats” for each student with their own needs (did you watch the TED talk I referenced in my last post?  click here).  We are going to have to read the books the night before and think about themes and deeper implications.  We are the ones on the front lines with the students every morning at 7:55am (gulp) greeting them and creating a place they feel loved and supported in the midst of academic challenges.

And all of those tasks leave me tossing and turning at night, unconsciously grinding my teeth.  Living in the fear.  This morning, though, I got a jolt to push out of that place.  Author Bob Goff, who wrote Love Does {A MUST READ} wrote on Facebook:

“Quit waiting for a plan; just go love everybody.”

Maybe that’s the answer to the fears I keep grappling with….just go love.  Obviously teachers without a plan or preparation will sink in moments.  But the reason for the plan is to allow space for growth, learning and love.  Remind me of this on September 2nd, but for now, these words are going to hopefully quell my knees from knocking a tiny bit.



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