“Today when I get up from my practice period and show up for the next moment of my day I carry with me the understanding that my practice is not over, it has just changed venues.”
Day 42, Meditations on Intention and Being, Rolf Gates
Day 336 – I am having a life crisis right now, which is not truly a life crisis. On one hand, I’m considering leaving the classroom to pursue some other type of work, and on the other, I am considering staying in the classroom and insisting on just one subject area all day long. I no longer think it is possible to give it my best every day, and that is just not okay with me. And, I’m not talking about perfection. I’m talking about giving the students what they deserve and building and sustaining a community of learners in each class.
Rolf writes that “tracing our thoughts back to their origin is a profound practice, [and] actively cultivating the ability to do this in the moment has limitless potential for our spiritual growth.” Yesterday, while pondering all this before going to teach yoga class, I thought that focus is really the issue when it comes to the public school classroom. Our intentions–societal, that is–of achievement, our definitions of success, are totally off. If I could take the focus and thought I put forth into a yoga class, a dance practice, a blog, into the classroom, without a worry about evaluation, test scores, or “gotch you’s” from coworkers, parents, students, and my higher ups, the students would be successful.
My definition of success is simply that my students and I are learning and want to keep learning. Rolf describes this, writing: “By teaching our minds spaciousness and concentration, and then turning our attention inward, so that our moment-to-moment internal reality can be perceived and understood, we extricate ourselves from past conditioning.” I have always valued education, but I bear witness to what it is becoming, through no fault of its own. It is a sinking ship from which the resourced will have life-boats to save them. What then of those who will simply bob up and down waiting to be rescued?
I’m not quite sure where I stand on this, but I definitely feel the weight of change in 2018, and maybe that is the weight of a new school, new grade, or new venture.