Pilgrimage and Mourning the Loss of Summer Vacation

My levels of anxiety have been at an all-time high in the last few days as I contemplate all of the tasks that go into the beginning of a new semester.  The first week entails hours of meetings, listening to various speakers and leadership team planning.  My mind is swimming with thoughts of various administrative duties I need to perform, of ideas from leadership articles I have been required to read and of dread at the anticipation of sitting through hours of speakers that are supposed to motivate us for the new term.  But as I was reading Pilgrimage, Dorothy Richardson reminded me of the real purpose of my chosen profession, engaging with students.  The advice that is given to Miriam as she completes her first teaching job is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago and it applies to every teacher, no matter the grade level or subject one instructs:

To truly fulfil the most serious role of the teacher you must enter into the personality of each pupil and must sympathize with the struggles of each one upon the path on which our feet are set.  Efforts to good kindliness and thought for others must be encouraged.  The teacher shall be sunshine, human sunshine, encouraging all effort and all lovely things in the personality of the pupil.

I am truly grateful for a lovely summer that involved lots of reading, swimming, sunbathing, traveling and spending time with my family.  I know how lucky I am to have this extended time off.  I just have to grit my teeth and get through the next week of “professional development” before I get to greet my always fabulous Latin and Ancient Greek students.

I hope all of my readers and visitors have also had a wonderful summer.



Filed under British Literature, Opinion Posts

15 responses to “Pilgrimage and Mourning the Loss of Summer Vacation

  1. Good luck with the new term! You’re quite right to focus on the teaching, although the admin in your field must be horrendous. I work in a primary school on the admin side and I must admit I’m loving the break and dreading its end….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely quotation, Melissa. Good luck with the start of term!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck with new term at work I’ve getting to grips with my new job here

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck w/new term. I’m back to work this morning and stuggling enormously to even get into the shower, let alone think of meetings etc to come. I need to figure out a way to live in Sicily…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I read your post, I realised that you get a whole week (!) of training… we only ever had one day at the start of a term, and by the end of that day I was always losing the will to live… I enjoy what you write about your work, and sometimes wonder what a school in the US that offers Latin and Greek must be like! And I am glad that the classics survive: so much richness to pass on to the future. Being now retired, I look forward to setting off on my travels when the term starts…

    Liked by 1 person

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