I am in the midst of creating a graduate class I haven't taught before (or, I should accurately say, it has changed quite a bit since I taught it last). At first, when I saw the magnitude of the changes, I was grumbling a little bit. More work, I thought. I have to start over, I thought. I have a new book and new articles I have to read, I thought. The current situation is that Dave and I are on "family vacation" with our two Labs, L.C. (Elsie) and Kirby (Kirby) in Ruidoso, New Mexico (where it is typically about 30 degrees cooler than it was when we lived in Tucson and is about 100% drier than it currently is in Texas). I have thought to myself that I shouldn't have to put in so much work while on vacation. But then Dave reminded me, "You live for this stuff. You read educational books for fun. Why would you complain about that?" I dislike it immensely when he is right, but sure enough....he is exactly right. I am video-recording welcome announcements, using memes to enhance my discussion posts, and generally refreshing this course that was becoming a bit outdated anyway.
Renewal is good for us, whether it is spiritual, educational, or simply life renewal. Coming back to center or stepping outside our comfort zone can be good for the soul. In other words, change is good. After being a principal, which I considered to be the best job in the entire world, for almost 8 years, I resigned when Dave and I moved to Tucson almost 9 years ago. Since then, I have been doing educational consulting for schools, districts, and universities; working as a professor/doctoral chair at four different universities; writing articles and books; and so much more. I love every piece of everything I do. Do I miss being a principal? Some days I miss it with every fiber of my being. But I also have had many educational leaders tell me that, while I may very well miss having my own "family" of the elementary school at which I worked, I now have the honor and privilege of being able to watch good teaching and leadership occur all around the world and spread those great ideas I see and hear with the next schools I visit. I accept that challenge and welcome every new opportunity with tremendous gratitude.
Renewal in life is good for the soul, I think. While on vacation, we are taking L.C. and Kirby on hikes each morning. L.C. is our 1 year old yellow Lab athlete. She runs up and down the pine-laden canyons, doubling or tripling the amount of miles Dave and I hike. Every day is a new adventure for her, and she loves it! Kirby sticks pretty close to us but he enjoys his own journey, pausing frequently to sniff at new smells and leaving his business card at every few trees or bushes we pass. They get it, I think. They get the notion of embracing every new adventure life brings them with their own form of gratitude (sometimes consisting of a quick and quite cool shake-off after they traipse through a cool field or stream----good for them; not so great for us).
I hope and pray that you find your own sense of renewal in whatever form it may come.
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