Today I am celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary, and I don’t want to spend it with this computer, so I’ll be brief. Naturally my thoughts turn this week to the importance of anniversaries. For many of us, like me today, we celebrate wedding anniversaries or other dates of significant importance in our lives. It is the perfect time to stop, remember and reflect. Today I am remembering why I chose to share my life with this wonderful man. He is the most patient, kind, gentle, intelligent and even-tempered man I know and I loved that about him. I am reflecting on why we chose to build a life together. I wanted someone to share my happiness and my sorrows. I wanted to create a family filled with love and joy. So today I don’t just remember those hopes, I reflect on how I am living them and keeping them as true today as they were 20 years ago.
This month, many teachers will be celebrating their “Teaching Anniversary “. While some give this little thought, others will spend time remembering those first days, weeks and year(s) of teaching. This anniversary is the perfect time to stop, remember and reflect. We cannot possibly remember everything but each teacher can easily conjure up images of incredible highs and lows no matter how long their career. Try to laugh at the gaffs and pause at the poignancy of those memories. As Martina McBride sang, “Every laugh line on your face made you who you are today,” or Kelly Clarkson mused, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”
So as you are preparing your rooms and yourselves to go back into the classroom, I encourage you to celebrate your anniversary. Take time to remember the big and small moments that celebrate YOU as a teacher. But also take time to reflect on why you chose teaching as a career. What is it you wanted about teaching that would bring meaning to your life? Then as you step back into the classroom, bring that with you. Keep those hopes and dreams you had as a new teacher alive in your heart. Maybe you’ll find that you worry less about those bulletin boards, name tags, desk arrangements and school supplies and you’ll look forward to those faces looking up to you and those hearts ready to love you. You might embrace the challenge of those daring you to teach them or reach them. You might remember that making a difference requires making things different and that’s rarely easy. If your preparation doesn’t bring some joy or excited anticipation the way that first year did, ask yourself why? Anniversaries offer us opportunities to rekindle the magic. Life is too short to live without that magic.
What’s on My Book Radar?
Not exactly a beach book, but this is a must read for anyone who’s “First World Problems” are causing them angst. There are many books about the holocaust, most are not appropriate for school aged children to bear witness to, but The Boy on The Wooden Box is a powerful memoir about resilience, compassion and real heroes in life. Leon Leyson’s remarkable memoir takes us from the ghettos of Krakow to Oskar Schindler’s factory, and introduces us to one of the biggest heroes of the Holocaust.
A better ‘beach book ‘ might be The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days. Nina Ross believes that simple kindness can change the world and she begins to live what she believes with subtle but profound results. Wish I had started reading this one at the beginning of the summer! Great read for ending a school year and launching kids into a summer of kindness.