Sunday, August 30, 2009

Permission to Fail

Life is a mess.

Or, rather, life is messy.

I'm hoping to get together soon with my moon howlin' buddies, talk about life's messes.

I'm not saying I'm a mess. Just messy.

I start back to work tomorrow. It is exciting.

What a great job I have. It is a lot of work. Demanding work. Important work.

Teachers get a couple of months to recharge their pedagogical batteries, continue their education, and simply catch their breaths.

I am ready!

I teach an interesting age, middle school. That is 6th, 7th, & 8th grades. Aside from the first three years of life, I think these three years cover the greatest changes of their lives.

Now I strongly believe in teaching my subject, delivering what I am charged to bring to them. But I think there is a more important thing for them to learn. They need to learn the skills that will bring them success in high school.

They need to learn to take responsibility for their learning... homework, study skills, meeting due dates, simply doing the work of a student.

If there is ever a time for a student to trip, to make mistakes and learn from them, it is middle school. No prospective employer will ask about their 6th grade marks, no college transcript will reveal their GPA from 8th grade.

I think this is true of life in general.

I would love to be successful at all I do. To be the perfect father, to shrug off my divorce easily, to be an always obedient follower of my faith.

13.7 billion years. That's how long this universe has been around. It's a long time. I whole heartedly believe my "future" will be longer than that. I'm comfortable with that idea.

God doesn't expect perfection. He knows me, knows us, better than that

It's OK to think of life as process.


Marvin the Martian said...

"Life is not a dress rehearsal," says the sign on my wife's office wall. I agree.

Ame said...

my daughter started 6th grade middle school last week, and i'm so very proud of her. she's faced her fears and forged through it and is kicking middle school butt!

okay ... i'm her excessively partial mom, but she's really doing better than i imagined. she learned her schedule quickly, figured out her teachers, made new friends (new school district, too), is dressing out for pe ... doesn't like it, but doesn't stress over it, either.

i'm finding that I love middle school. i like the little bits of extra freedom she gets.

this experience has surprised me ... i thought i would hate it ... i thought she would hate it ... but she's doing very well, and i'm loving it :)

Amrita said...

I often feel this way about the mess around me Will, there are bunches of loose ends floating around.

I also taught this age group, really enjoyed it.

Judas Hate said...

My daughter is now in 7th grade and my son in 5th. They are in their 2nd week now (we start early in NC).

Hope this year is a great one for you:-)

Love to you, Isaac and Jeremiah.


Jada's Gigi said...

life is such a process...I hate all the loose ends...but I have adjusted (somewhat) to the fact that they will always be there. Enjoy your new school year.