I knew that going from teaching writing one day a week to teaching five days a week while also beginning graduate school would be a big transition. So I gave myself a hiatus from my own personal writing practice for all of September to adjust.
Oh, good. I thought when I opened my eyes this morning and it was still dark. It’s Saturday.
Only, it wasn’t. It was Thursday. I still had two days to go to make it through my first full week of teaching 7th through 10th grade English at my children’s cozy, Christian school overlooking a river in the Maine woods. The first three days had only felt like a full week.
Driving to work after 20 years of writing from home has included some challenges. Like wearing shoes when I’d typically go barefoot. And figuring out how to drive my three youngest children home from school with three different pick-up times when I live twenty minutes away. And trying to keep up with grading students’ homework while also trying to finish my own.
But it’s also been a lot of fun – like rediscovering Greek myths with my younger students and getting to introduce a whole class full of older students to the wonder, mystery and power of reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. And nothing beats staying up late at the kitchen table doing classwork alongside my teenage daughter.
“Getting wisdom is the wisest think you can do,” the writer of Proverbs says (4:7 NLT). At this point in my life, I sure could use it.
Where this year will take me, I don’t know, but I am eager to learn new skills – both inside the classroom where I teach and inside the classroom where I am a student. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of my mother, who also started graduate school in her 40s. And I am grateful to use what I love and what I am learning to inspire a whole new generation of readers and writers, even when I’m tired and still have two full days of teaching to go.
So if I look a little bleary from lack of sleep and like my shoes might pinch, or if I happen to forget one of my children at school, just say a prayer for me and remind me what day of the week it is.