You may have noticed I have disappeared for the last two weeks – it is the start of school. My rector has been gracious, allowing me to take my vacation in August so I can focus on starting the school year. For the past two weeks, I doubt I have worked less than twelve hours per day to prepare and teach this first week, and that includes Saturday and Sunday. The effort has been worth it, however – the first week has gone well and has been lots of fun.
Every year, I fall in love with my class. It is amazing to me how soon I become emotionally involved with my students. I get to see a side of them all the test scores in the world can never show. I include my kids in my prayers each morning, but already there are specific ones that I hold especially close in prayer. One boy lost both his parents last year. One of the girls has come to my school from another area and is trying hard to fit in. When I asked the students to write to me about how they are as a reader, one boy wrote, “I hate reading. It’s hard and the books are long.” Another boy is coming to school, showing up at my door incredibly early, and I suspect it is sadly because my classroom is a warmer place to be than his home.
I do not live separate lives as a priest and a teacher; they are my one life, and it is amazing how much they intersect and compliment each other. So, I pray for wisdom – wisdom to help them fit in, to love reading, to grieve, to feel safe and loved. For a short time, they are my children.