1st Friday in Advent

Pleasant Places

 

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Psalm 16:6, RSV

 
TGIF—Thank God It’s Friday. Workers all over the world—especially teachers, it seems—like to chant that mantra on the last day of the workweek.

Teaching is hard work, and the pay hardly compensates for the demands of the profession. Yet, instead of saying TGIF, I say that I’m thankful that I have a job at all during these latter days of the Great Recession. For that reason, if for no other, the lines have indeed fallen for me in pleasant places.

No, not everything about the life of a classroom teacher is pleasant. I sometimes feel as though I am being carried away by a tsunami of paperwork. In fact, paperwork annoys me so much that it’s always last on my list of things to do—which, of course, makes the tsunami worse! l weary of having to discipline the same kids over and over again. And I find most staff meetings to be an utter waste of time. (My ideal school would have staff meetings no more than four times a year, certainly not every Friday.)

Still, the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. What other job would allow me to work with children, helping to sharpen their minds and shape their character? What other job would challenge me to learn something new every day? What other job has built-in breaks throughout the year? I’m so grateful that I can travel at Christmas and spring break and in the summer to reconnect with friends and family and see new places. (I’m looking forward to being in Guadalajara for Christmas.)

Yes, like many other teachers on this Friday evening, I’m tired. It has been another difficult week. But despite my weariness, I know that teaching is a privilege and a high calling, and if I were to turn my back on it, I would be rejecting my “goodly heritage.”

During the remainder of this Advent season, and beyond, I plan to accentuate the positive, and downplay the negative, aspects of the work I do. Instead of muttering, “TGIF,” when the end of the workweek rolls around, I’m going to be saying, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”

Because they have.

Posted on December 3, 2010, in Advent, teaching, weariness. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. one day many of your students will be writing about you, the way you wrote about the teacher who inspired and encouraged you so long ago. may the lines continue to fall for you in pleasant places always. have a good weekend.

    paz

  2. Thank you for your positive thoughts this Advent season,. I find myself fed spiritually and a calmness comes over me as I ready myself for another day with students. It is helpful and I am grateful to you for sharing.

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