Well friends, the Queen Anne’s Lace is out and the month has arrived: fall classes are on the way! What are you doing to get ready for for the year ahead? Hopefully not a lot of syllabus work. What I mean is, what are you doing to get ready for it spiritually?
I’m headed to a lake in Wisconsin soon to have my usual pre-school retreat. Since I’m doing that later than usual (right up to the start of classes), I’m working on my syllabi now so that they are completely finished and I can have a real retreat.
What do I do on these retreats? Mostly a lot of resting. But I also do a lot of praying and soul searching. I pray for myself to recover the joy of teaching. To help with that, I pray for each class. I print out the roster and I specifically pray for each student by name. And I read books that help me to remember why I actually love this crazy career. That remind me that loving these students and teaching them how to grow through reading literature is, quite simply, the best job in the world.
Here are some books I’m bringing with me this time. Richard Rohr, Falling Upward. Alan Jones, Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality. And Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms. I’ll probably grab a few novels, too, and read only when the mood hits. Because I’m going mostly to rest and prepare for the marathon.
What I am trying not to do is panic. And that means I need to work on living in the present moment, and being grateful for what is right in front of me: this sacred work of teaching. If you are reading these words, I have prayed for you, too. Because what you do REALLY MATTERS, so please go forth with the joy of the Lord as your strength.
If you want my help, my video masterclass on teaching is still up and running. I’ve got all kinds of tips in there for building a class community and learning how to pace yourself and on and on. Send me an email and I’ll give you a 50% discount code. Adjunct teaching? I’ll give you a discount code to take the class for free, because your life is hard enough.