As I previously mentioned, I read a lot. I reread a number of books and Astonished is a book I recently read twice. This book, by Beverly Donofrio, is loaded with wisdom and came fortuitously into my hands this March. In the book, Beverly had something horrendous happen to her and she sought solace in monasteries. She recorded, in wonderful and honest prose, her experiences. She is funny, human, and so very wise.
She recounted how one friend of hers, a sage earth mother type advised, Pray every day. Pray, "Open the path and I will walk it." It sounded like pretty good advice. So when I finished the book, the prayer began, "Open the path and I'll walk it." I wrote it down on sticky notes, in my journal, and on bookmarks to help me remember to say it. I said it out loud on my morning walk to work and wrote it with lipstick on the bathroom mirror.
One path that has opened is the chance to teach literature to 8th graders. I am seeing this as an answer to this prayer. Besides working with students with special learning needs in grades 4-8, I will get to reenter the classroom and teach literature again. It feels like a great opportunity and I am excited to venture in. I believe good literature has the power to change our lives so I hope, even for a season, to share some stories, books, poems, and articles that kids will want to read closely and a few that will even help them make some sense of their world.
I hope to help them enrich their vocabulary and speak with precision and accuracy so that they know there is a difference between appreciated, devoted, admired and yes, obsessed. I hope they write way more than I can grade, read much more than we can ever test, and know enough about punctuation rules to break them from time to time.
Another source of good advice came a few months ago when I went with my daughter to her obstetrician and was surprised to meet this motherly and frank lady who is taking wonderful care of my daughter and her unborn blessing. She was talking about the recent phenomenon of being able to read online reviews that patients (or anyone actually) post . She said, " I don't read those reviews. I just ask God to send me the patients he wants me to have." Again, great advice. What students will I have and why? The ones I am supposed to.
"Open the path and I will walk it."