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Posts Tagged ‘Back to work’

As I arise on this final day of a two week long break, I open my eyes to all that has been accomplished, as well as all that has not been completed.images-1

Two weeks away from work, away from school, commitments, pressures and deadlines will end tomorrow (Monday) morning when the alarm rudely rings at 5:55am.

It has been a time of celebrating, both Christmas and New Years. It has been a time of cocooning within our own four walls, with times spent with friends, and times spent with only our Fab 5. It has been at time of intense cleaning, purging and sharing of our stuff with others. It has been a good time.

As the two weeks of celebration and relaxation come to a close, as the New Year is barely underway, thankfulness fills every part of my being. It has truly been a blessed break.

Time is a gift that is so sweet, so very, very sweet. It is something we all have, although often is short supply. It is something that we love to give, something that we give grudgingly. It is something we either have too much of, or not enough, and never the right amount at the exact time we need or want it most.

When our children are young and demanding we desire more time for ourselves, more time away from our children. When we grow old we desire most to spend our time with our children, we dream of the days when the demands tired us, we regret that the busy years are gone.

When we are young we count sleeps (okay, some of us do not outgrow this stage … but, I digress) to the times and events that we look so forward to, when we are elderly we awaken and count the blessing of awakening for “one more day.”

I regret the end of this time of break, yet I have lived long enough to know that I am blessed to have been given the gift of this time. I was also blessed to have been away of the gift that is was before the break began, resulting in a return to work with less regrets and more sweet memories to take into this work week, and new year.

Christmas break 2012, and Christmas itself, has been the sweetest Christmas in my memory. I will leave this house, and separate from hubby and the kids with delightful memories to sit back and ponder with great thanksgiving.

It has been …

… yet there is so much to be, if I can appreciate every day in this intentional, thankful heart of blessing of the gift that this time is for me, for we.

Your life
is like the morning fog–
it’s here a little while, int
then it’s gone.”
John 4:14

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Having now been back to work, in a school, for three days, I am confident of one thing … school is not school without the students!

It has been wonderful to see and reconnect with my work colleagues, get my schedule, and hear of the new plans and initiatives for the school year. But … it does not feel like my job, it does not feel like school, if there are no students there. The building is NOT the school, even the staff are not the school. Both of those are valuable parts of ‘school’, but it is the students who make up, and who are … the school.

All parts that come together under the roof of the school, from teaching to non-teaching staff, from parents to guardians, from professional development to textbooks, from note pads to computers, do so with one purpose in mind … to teach the students who will attend there. And it is in they, the students, that our purpose for being there lies.

It has been a good reminder to me of what my job is really about. Although I benefit from my job (financially and with a sense of purpose and fulfillment), I am there for the benefit of the students, not the other way around. I am there to help them to learn, they are not there to help me learn (but, they do). I am there to encourage them, not they encourage me (but, they do). I am there to make their lives and their futures better, they are not there to improve my life (but, they do).

I hope that remembering why I do what I was hired to do helps me to do my job better. I hope that a month from now, I can remember how very boring and even pointless (not that it is, but it ‘feels’ that way) being at school without the students was, way back here in August.

The highlight of my day … meeting the family of one of the students I get to work with this coming school year … That was one step closer to what I was hired to do!

“…the fundamental purpose of school is learning, not teaching.”

Richard DuFour

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Beginnings are great! A fresh start, a clean slate, a new page. Well, after a two month (well, for me it was more like a two week) break from working in a school, today is back to work … sigh (for those of you who do not work in on a school schedule, I realize that you will be playing your miniature violins, as I whine and complain about the end of summer break. I know the perspectives of non-school workers of those of us who work a school schedule … ‘you work less than eight hours a day,’ ‘you get two weeks off at Christmas,’ ‘you get two weeks off at Spring Break,’ ‘you get two months off in the summer,’ ‘there seems to be a Professional day every month’ and on, and on, and on. I have broad shoulders, I can handle it 😉 But, I digress).

I am not really all that upset about actually going back to work, I am more sad to see the end of summer. Although it really is not over until about the twenty-first of September, the start of school always seems to be the real, practical, end of the summer season. And really, is there anyone who wants to see the end of summer? I don’t think so!

So, my alarm will be set for 6am, my clothes will be laid out the night before (I’m a bit anal … no, really it is just that I do not want anything to hinder my joy of a relaxing morning coffee, and having to think about what to wear just simply throws me off), my coffee maker timer set, and my cell phone charged (not that I would use my cell phone, at work, to text … not me 😉 ). All of the regular work preparations have been done, now it is just to get my pea-sized brain around this reality.

Really there is no preparation for getting my brain wrapped around the reality of back to work. A person just has to do it, go through the motions, leap into it (kind of like getting married, or having a child).

I do look forward to catching up with co-workers, meeting new colleagues, and hearing about new and exciting plans and perspectives on various things pertaining to our students this year.

This summer I heard someone say, ‘begin with the end in mind.’ It seemed so simple, yet so profound a statement. It is a statement of understanding goals, consequences, hope and vision. It is a statement that makes me think about what I hope the end to look like.

I wonder … if I go to work each day of this school year, with an end goal in mind, for me, for the students I work with … will each of my work days have more focus, more direction, more accomplishment, more purpose? Will having a ‘end’ perspective make me more attentive, more directed, more eager to do the job I am hired to do? Will I be better at my job? Will I receive more joy from the work I do? Will my students catch the excitement that I feel to be there, as we work together to achieve their goals?

So, tomorrow is a day of catching up, of getting reacquainted and of visioning for the year to come … all with the end in mind.

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