Symbolic Gestures

Posted: May 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

With school coming to an end, there is a lot of “wrapping up” going on around my school building. It’s kind of tough for me to get into all it, what with my knowing that I’m not coming back and that not being common knowledge beyond a few of my co-workers, so I am sort of sitting back and trying to partake while not overdoing it.

Today we had a pep rally to wrap up the week and celebrate all the accomplishments of the sports teams from the last few months. It was fun seeing all the kids cheer and be recognized for their efforts. There was also a crab-walk relay, so there was lots of fun to be had. But then at the end, our principal asked all the teachers to come to the center of the gym. I was confused. I had no idea what this was about since we hadn’t been told, or at least I hadn’t. Then one of the other teachers looked at me and said, “You’re probably not going to like this part very much.” Now I was really confused.

As it turned out, our principal then invited all the 8th graders to come down and say thank you to their teachers as they were getting ready to leave middle school and head off to the high school in just a few weeks. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I was soon engulfed by a bunch of students I didn’t know, so I started to back away, allowing them to slip in and slap fives, give hugs and say their thank yous, trying not to look as awkward and unsure as I felt. It wasn’t too long before the crowd dissipated and all the students began to move toward the exits to head home for the weekend. Then I had a thought, which isn’t always the best thing, but there it went.

I started to wonder if I was ever going to get to see this. To watch a class actually complete a series of grades, watch them come in and then go off into their next foray. To be honest, it’s one of the reasons I got into education: I want to see the students grow up and change. But I keep finding myself ousted from schools before I get the chance to do that. I get that these places aren’t where I’m supposed to be in the long term, and that’s why I keep getting moved on, why I keep finding myself in new schools, but it does get a little tiring. I think it is doubled because I honestly haven’t felt like I’ve been in the right place for me yet, so I keep moving onto somewhere else that once again isn’t the right place. The cycle feels endless.

Now I know what you might be thinking: I’ve been teaching for 3 1/2 years, how can the cycle already feel “endless” after such a short time? There’s something to that. But I fully believe that work can be endlessly exhausting if it’s not the right fit, and try as I might I don’t think I’ve found the fit yet. It is frustrating, especially as I see other people getting where they want to be, not just professionally but in all areas of their lives. I know they don’t have it altogether, even if it seems like it sometimes.

I suppose the lesson is here that my time will come. I’m impatient, I know this. I’ve never been good at waiting. But at this point in my life, I’m starting to learn that if I have to wait, I might as well make the best of it. And trust. That’s key, too. Trusting that God has my life in His hands, and if I’m trying too hard I’m only going to make it harder on myself.

 

God bless,

Robert

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