(206) Walking into a Classroom in August

Slowly now I am moving back toward teaching mode. I haven’t wanted to, and I still have time; yet, it’s upon me. Little things keep popping up in my mind, things that have been long gone for weeks. It’s okay. It is my work, after all.

Today I listed my fears around the school year, and worked through dispelling all the negatives and barriers I may feel around those fears. I read a poem called “Walking a Field Into Evening” by Larry Smith, and thought it would be a good mentor poem for me. (The poem can be found on A Year of Being Here website.) This summer has been spent getting in touch with the deepest roots in myself, regaining energy, and being wholly and completely in the moment. I still desire to bring those qualities into my teaching life. That is the positive about a new school year–trying once again to get the vision to come close to the reality.

This poem sets the direction for when I meet my students in August.  That is all I want right now–a compass pointing to True North.

For learning activities, I choose wisely

For presence, I remember to serve

imageI enter the classroom in the depths of August

Envision a new year, keep it simple.


For over a decade, I planned and planned and planned again

Now I let the moment have its say

A variety of personalities will cross the threshold

My smile welcomes, my feet firm on the ground.


We are the stabilizing force in a crazed world

Take each young one by the hand and listen

I’m going to spike them with questions and risks to take

They are my writers, my scholars, my teachers

I will open to them, encourage, embrace.


It’s the conversation that matters

The everyday kindness shown

The authentic aliveness of what educating means to me

Communication. Creativity. Cooperation. Courage.


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