Lessons in the Leap
Truth bomb: This is a challenging time of year for educators. As I close out this week that started with Parent-Teacher Conferences, a powerful and raw message about the dangers of teen drug use, ACT testing, and a full moon (need I say more educators?), I am thankful in the lessons.
I have lost track of the interactions associated with my resignation but have not lost sight of the mission set for the remainder of my time at Spooner High. My reflection tonight is relevant to us all with a hope-filled message to inspire and energize weary souls.
Amidst it all, and I classify "it" as the myriad pressures from every angle at this time of year, my purpose has been the gift of the present. Considering myself lucky to realize that my operations have an expiration date. I only have so many days left with my people. Only so many chances to pour into the students and staff. Only so many more opportunities to light a fire. Only so many moments to endure as some require. Only so many hugs and smiles, laughs, or admonishments. Essentially, I am existing as terminal, and all I can do is wish we all could do this. And hope these powerful moments stick with me so that I can take this spirit with me no matter where I go each day in life.
One illustration was when I looked directly into the eyes of a student with whom I have worked and have refused to give up on throughout the years. Though the individual has given up a time or two, somehow, some way, and with much grace, that person is still here. Still surviving, and readers, beginning to thrive. The quote that ignites my soul and brought about my bold declarations with a fiery truth that singed my nose as it spouted with power came out from the student as this. "I don't know what snapped in me, but something made me work hard last term." Light beam focused from the clouds directly on us and time literally suspended.
I KNOW WHAT IT IS! It is the light I have seen in you in the darkest of your days. It is the light that is burning within you to dream beyond these walls, beyond your circumstances, and beyond each poor choice you have ever made. The power in the present allowed me to boldly state, "People keep asking me about next for me. Frankly, I care nothing about what is next for me. I have complete faith that what is next for me will come. What lights my soul now is my present. Here. With you. This moment. My present is focused on your next. And what snapped in you is what you must build. Tell me what it is I can do for you in the present to harness that and help you get to your next." Jaw drop. Eye contact. College visit. Yes yes yes. My calendar is short, but that visit will occur, and it will be one of my favorite memories in this present space filled with what I know will be more coming.
I am challenging myself and anyone reading this to grab fiercely any opportunity to live this way. We all have it in us. Every day.
"Live the way in which you want to be remembered." Let's all commit to do this just a bit more. With a few more interactions. Each day. Tonight, I am so grateful for this refreshed lesson in the leap.
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