This past year I made a private goal to really reconnect to my students in a meaningful way. It's so easy as a teacher to let all the administrative "stuff" get to you - to get in the way of why you took the job in the first place. It's easy to get absorbed into a vortex of emails and committees. This year, my goal was to leave that behind each time I walked through the classroom door. I can honestly say, that this year has been one of my most rewarding.
A week ago, as I was plowing through the stack of paperwork in my box, I came across this book - it was a gift from a student with the lovely quote below. It immediately made me stop, took me out of my anxiety and I took a moment to smile. That smile carried me through the rest of the day and is with me now as I remember that feeling.
"What is the way to look at a flower so that I can make the most of it for my art?" "We should master the art of stopping in order to really be with our friend and with the flower."
Thich Nhat Hanh. from his book Peace is Every Step, The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.
What I especially loved, was that the book was her copy, it had her marks and felt used and loved. Too often we think we need to give something new - but it was the sense of use and history that made this gift truly special.