Teach & Serve
No. 41 * May 25, 2016
Related Content from And There Came A Day:
Today is the last edition of Teach & Serve for the year.
Tune in next fall for Volume II
We may, like many of our students who are about to leave our schools or our colleagues who are moving on to other work, want to stand on this side of the door, we may want to hold here, just for a while longer.
As the end of the year draws closer, and the promise of summer is all but upon us, we revel in the prospect of sunny months, of halcyon days, of down time. Sometimes we revel in that promise more than our students do. We plan the time off or, rather, we enjoy the notion that we don’t have to plan – we don’t have to plan time, we don’t have to plan new classes, we don’t have to plan at all. We see the door before us, opening on to the summer, and we’re eager to rush through it. We’re ready to cross the threshold.
No more lessons, no more books (or iPads or tablets), no more students’ dirty looks.
Bring summer on!
Something nags, though. There is something that holds us in place. In these late spring moments, we stand at the door with a little reluctance to push through. We have one foot in next year, but we also have one still in this one. We are aware of the students with whom we’ve journeyed these many months, of the colleagues with whom we’ve worked. We’ve shared the moments of the year together – moments that have been good, moments that have been bad, all the moments in between.
We’ve been part of the lives of hundreds of other people. And all of that is about to change for the group of people we’ve lived with, day-in-and-day-out, this group of people who occupied the minutes and hours of this year will never be assembled again. Not after the door opens, not after we pour out into the summer.
It’s all about to change. Once we cross that threshold, it changes forever.
So, we may, like many of our students who are about to leave our schools or our colleagues who are moving on to other work, want to stand on this side of the door, we may want to hold here, just for a while longer.
But, we cannot stand in threshold. That’s not the job.
The work of today – today on one of the last days of the school year – is what it has been throughout the school year: moving forward. The work has been to ready the way, to direct the traffic. From the moment the year began, from the moment the faculty meetings opened in the fall, we’ve been pointed in this direction, pointed to the threshold, to the door.
We stand by the door, not at it, not in front. We stand with one hand on the handle, ready to open the latch.
We do not stand in the threshold.
The work of the educator is constantly in motion and focused forward. The work of the educator links from one lesson to the next, one unit to the next, one demonstration, one equation, one experiment to the next. We link one year to the next. We are future focused people, though, in the moments of the school year, we don’t always realize it.
It is not always easy to push open the door. There are students who we would like to bar from passing through because we believe they are not ready. There are colleagues we want to hold on to who are going to go. We know some of what is on the other side of the door. We know what can happen when the threshold is crossed.
We also know that it must be crossed. And it will be. We hope the students are ready. We hope they are ready to move on to the next level, to the next step, to the next school. We hope we’ve done the job well.
We’ve led our students to the threshold. It’s time to watch them walk through it. It’s time to let them go. It’s time to close the door on this year and to rest, relax and recharge.
And we need not worry too much. When we reach the end of the summer, we will stand at another threshold: the threshold to a new year.
That is one of the blessings of the work we do.