Another summer vacation has come and gone! It seems like just yesterday that my wife was winding down the school year and we were planning all the things we were going to do during summer vacation. I have a tendency to get too emotional about thinks like this, but I always feel so lonely when she goes back to school in August. She's my best friend and my rock! I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be here now, if not for her! She pushed me and nursed me and encouraged me when I thought I was done for. So did my kids. I don't think anyone, family or friends, understand where I had sunk to a few years ago. I can never repay them for the love and support that carried me through those dark days.
It wasn't that long ago that I was also going back to work about now. Unfortunately, those days are behind me and I'm settling into the new "normal" for me. It will be 4 years ago September 1st since I retired. God has been so very gracious to me in the last 4 years. My health issues are now manageable and I have been able to lead a fairly "normal" life. I miss teaching and being a part of the school family, but thanks to my wife and daughter, I get to contribute in other ways now.
I spend my days now making or repairing things for their classrooms. It's always a challenge and it's fun...plus, in a small way, I get to give a little of me back to education. After 30 years of working with students and schools, it's hard to just walk away and leave it behind. Sometimes, I sit and think about what it was like to watch a student who didn't "get it" or "didn't care"...and suddenly the DID!!! It's really cool to run into someone I taught 20+ years ago and have them remember me and tell me that I meant something to their life.
There's so much hate and violence and anger in the world today. It truly scares me for my wife and my daughter. Educators are on the front line to much of the anger and hate that is such a part of the daily lives of these young people. You do what you can to try and reach them. Unfortunately, so many of these children come from a home life that has little or no structure and where hate and anger are served up like breakfast every day. We should be turning to Christ Jesus and his Grace...instead, our leaders, so afraid of offending someone, have taken God OUT of school. "Leave it up to the parents" they say...but, so many parents don't have time for God! Many of them won't even spend quality time with their own children.
For so many of these kids, that teacher they interact with each day is the ONLY positive source of caring in their lives. I can tell you from personal experience, teachers do what they do because they CARE!!!! Outsiders don't understand the LOVE that teachers feel for their students. Yes...even the one's that get on your last nerve! If they didn't love them, they couldn't do it day in and day out! AND...It sure isn't for the fame and glory!!! Oh yeah, there's always some wiseguy that will say things like..."Yeah, but you get 2 weeks vacation at Christmas, and a week for Spring Break, and summer vacation"...which is true. If teachers DIDN'T get these breaks, they would go insane! NO ONE would be in that classroom trying to help these children!
I'm sorry for the rant...but, it comes from the heart. You see, in my heart, I AM A TEACHER...and I always will be! To all you educators out there...
PEACE, HOPE, & LOVE
1 Corinthians 13:13
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)