Preparing the heart for teaching, 2011

I’ve been in a contemplative place this holiday break. One thing that’s come up for me is how quickly the year is going by. I remember several times lately when, at the end of the school day, I’ve experienced this strange feeling of slight disappointment that the day is over! The disappointment is there because I realize I’ve let the day go by without fully appreciating every moment I spend working with my students.

Every moment is a tremendous opportunity. To fully realize the opportunities that I’m faced with every day, I’ve got to be fully present. What gets in the way? I love teaching and I love my students. I want to say that my mind is occupied by extraneous things, but this is not exactly the case. My mind doesn’t wander while I’m teaching. Surely I’m influenced by Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach, which I’m reading now, but I think that being fully present is a matter of the mind and the heart.

I’m practicing putting more heart into everything I do this week–whether it’s the dishes or making a soup, or talking to a friend. I’m hoping this practice will help me cherish every moment in the classroom with my mind and my heart. I can’t think of a better New Year’s Resolution for my 2011 teaching life.

[image credit: sunhealer.wordpress.com]

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