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.