From June to July: A Teacher’s Take

June

Athletic action
Badminton tournaments
Ultimate frisbee tournaments
Track and field events

Meeting mania
Staff meetings
Parent meetings
Committee meetings
Planning-for-next-year meetings
Emails about meetings

Email emanation
Emails to and from students
Emails to and from parents
Emails to and from teachers
Emails to and from administrators
Emails about emails

Preparation pressure
Preparing policies for next year
Preparing newsletter articles
Preparing devotionals
Preparing speeches
Preparing lessons

Field trip fun
Writing field trip proposals
Writing field trip permission forms
Collecting field trip proposal signatures
Collecting field trip permission forms
Making field trip arrangements
Making bus arrangements
Making TOC arrangements
Leading field trips while praying that nobody dies

Evening events
Awards night
Athletic banquet
New families banquet
Grad convocation
Grad banquet

Marking mania
Writing final tests and exams
Marking assignments, essays, projects, quizzes, tests, exams
Marking, marking, marking
Feeling slightly guilty whenever not marking

Marital misses
Missing connections
Missing conversations
Missing evenings
Missing laughs
Missing emotions

Reporting rush
Entering marks
Calculating marks
Writing comments
Agonizing over comments
Making award winner selections
Defending award winner selections

Final functions
Collecting textbooks
Cleaning classrooms
Last planning meetings
Last drive home

Satisfaction with utter exhaustion.
Productivity with great pressure.
This is June for the teacher.

July

A load has been lifted
The paradigm shifted
With a quality sleep
Comes sweet relief

Canada Day
Family times
Friend times
Fun and games
Jokes and laughs
Barbeques
Live music
Fireworks

More family times
Going for hikes
Going for canoe trips
Going to the beach
Going for ice cream
Going for walks
Eating ice cream while on walks

Days at home
Quiet mornings
Multi-course breakfasts
Coffee on the porch
Hours of reading for pleasure
Lunch dates with my darling
Running little errands
Swimming at the public pool
Video gaming
Video making
Writing and posting
Creative minds at play

Camping trips
Setting up the tent
Walking to the beach
Listening to the surf
Enjoying the breeze
Breathing in that air
Swimming in the ocean
Playing in the sand
Taking lots of pictures
Long fireside conversations
Telling goofy stories
Quiet mornings
Listening to the songbirds
Brewing fresh coffee
Sizzling eggs and bacon
Little observations

Date nights
Stops at Starbucks
Cactus Club patio
The Boathouse patio
Delicious entrees
Delicious drinks
Delicious dresses
Delicious kisses
Fun conversations
Silly conversations
Heart conversations
Long walks on the beach
Long movies
Long lovemaking
Time and intimacy and reconnection

Time to travel
To hit the open road
To explore other places
To savour new surroundings
To sleep in other beds
To take in other views
To refresh the psyche
To expand perspective
To reboot the imagination

Care for the spirit
Prayer and meditation
Reading and reflection
Reorienting the compass of the heart

Rest and refreshment.
Therapy for mind, body, and soul.

This is July for the teacher.

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Daughter

Daughter
A little girl
Born of love
With future bright
Filled with laughter
Enjoying play
Embracing life
Innocent

Adolescent
Becoming woman
The bleeding came
With some fanfare
But never left
This rite of passage
Would never stop
Incredulous at first
Hidden horror
Permanent pain
Silent shame
Distressed

Unclean
This flow defined her
Discredited by family
Disdained by friends
Dismissed by men
Denied the temple
God seemed silent
Invalid entry
Pariah

Patient
Of many physicians
Touched only by strange men
With stranger solutions
Unable to help her
She suffered greatly
At their incapable hands
Their familiar disgust
This must be God’s doing
The sin of your parents
Her resources exhausted
Broke and broken
Her emotions numb
Defeated

Sufferer
12 years of sorrow
Rumours flew
Of a rabbi from Nazareth
Teacher of thousands
Provider of bread
Calmer of storms
Healer of the blind
Physician of the lame
Could healing be found
In the touch of his hands
Desperate

Hopeful
Pressed by urgency
She entered the crush
The teeming masses
Clamouring for attention
They would quickly turn on her
If they knew her secret shame
Nothing to lose
She pressed forward
Determined

Amazed
The packed procession
Was headed her way
There he was
This rumoured rabbi
Now in sight
Amid the noise
The busy commotion
The jostling bodies
She nudged toward him
Heart pounding
Doubts screaming
Fingers shaking
Twelve years of pain reached out
Stretching for deliverance
Believing

Healed
Fingers made contact
The change was instant
The impact was visceral
Power poured into her
Alone in the crowd
They were oblivious
She could feel it
In ripples
Her body awakened
Her suffering over
Her stigma removed
Her hope reborn
Light poured in
Tears streaming
Heart rejoicing
Renewed

Startled
Who touched me?
The rabbi had stopped
The crowd surprised
The bedlam reduced to a whisper
Onlookers expectant
Somehow he knew
His gaze took her in
She was discovered
How would he respond
Would he call her out
Would he recall the gift
Would he demand payment
Used to humiliation
Used to rejection
Exposed

Defenseless
She edged through the crowd
Toward the rabbi
Toward the light
Toward the power
A secret no more
She crept forward in fear
Trembling
Falling down before him
Kneeling in worship
Confessing everything
Her undeservedness
Her silent shame
Her agony
Broken

Home
Finally safe
He took her arm
No fear
No condemnation
Gently helping her up
His eyes embraced her
His love washed over her
And then his first word to her

Daughter.

 


*see Mark 5:24-34