Yesterday was the first day of school for most Texas school kids. My Facebook home page was filled with photos of students taken by proud parents marking a new school year.
I never thought I would say this, and I hate to admit it, but I was a little sad all day yesterday. After almost 30 years of professional first days of school, over 20 personal first days, and almost 20 first days for my children, I thought I would be happy to leave first days of school behind. And I am. Or was.
But seeing those smiling faces of students and teachers on Facebook stirred something deep within my soul that reminded me who I am. I am a teacher. And I can’t just leave that behind like I left behind my classroom. I am a teacher deep within my being. I have a teacher soul, and although I chose to retire from active duty as a teacher, I will never be able to retire my teacher’s soul.
And that makes me happy. Really. So when I browse through the aisles of school supplies I no longer need, I can smile. Maybe someday I will have grandchildren to buy for, and I can always participate in the school supply donations. I’m not quite ready to sign up for substitute teaching, though. Maybe later? Who knows?
|Me as a first-year teacher in 1983.|
|Me with a sweet student in 2012, my last year of teaching.|
Right now I can enjoy my quieter life, slower in pace than those frenetic days of being a working mother and teacher, and offer up prayers for those still in that phase of life.
So, Lord, please bless the teachers today. Bless the students. Bless and protect them. And thank you for the blessing of years of service you gave me. Sometimes I couldn’t wait to retire, and now that retirement is finally here, it’s bittersweet.
But I thank you for calling me to be a teacher. God, please bless the teachers.