The Best Week of My Life
I have to say that this week was one of the best weeks of my life. That said, I didn't do very much teaching this past week. The convergence of many important events meant that I wasn't in the classroom constantly. The few days I was, my Mentor Teacher asked to take lead. Students struggle with vectors and 2D motion in his experience. Therefore he wanted to be sure that they had a firm grounding in the topic.
Let me break the week down for you, and see what lessons there are to be learned.
Tuesday, 10/29/2019: I chaperoned a AP/IB Environmental Science trip to Saylor Grove. While the students were there performing different ecology tests, I messaged my previous supervisor at PWD (Construction Unit). He happened to be in the neighborhood visiting other sites, and came to the site to give my students a 10 minute talk on how PWD designed/constructed the project.
Thursday, 10/31/2019: My Mentor Teacher and I coordinated our halloween costumes. He was Woody and I was Buzz. His wife suggested the duo because it reflected our relationship; the established figure being displaced in the hearts of others by the latest and greatest.
Friday, 11/1/2019: Convention Eucharist celebrated at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.
Saturday, 11/2/2019: The 236th Convention gathering of the Diocese of Pennsylvania in the Episcopal Church in the U.S. I was elected by the Cathedral congregation to serve as Alternate Deputy. I was then elected Deputy by Convention to represent the Diocese (130+ congregations) at General Convention of the Episcopal CHurch in the US to be convened in Baltimore in 2021. As far as I'm aware, I am one of the youngest people to ever be elected. So yeah, I have a level now, I "play" on a national stage now. is "divine" equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sunday, 11/3/2019: Feast of All Saints' Sunday.
Because of this week, I've come away somewhat wizer. Here are just a few of the many things that I've learned.
Self care is important. Making a deliberate effort to take a break from work (in my case this has been 2 months of unpaid work during student teaching) is crucial. Being around the people I love, doing the thing I love, refreshes oneself so that they are prepared to continue to work at maximum capacity.
I am capable. Whether it is in the classroom, at the Cathedral, or in some other setting, what I am doing has value, and that value is being acknowledged by others. It is not an ego exercise, or a "flex" as my students would say. It is me reconciling the hard work that I've invested into teaching or church, having absolutely zero monetary indicator, is indeed well worth the effort.
Building bridges or putting down roots is important. Along with #2, putting in the effort in order to become attached to different groups, teams, careers, etc. is well worth the effort. Building these professional relationships does indeed further my career, but also contributes to my personal community. I like to think that I didn't take anyone in my community for granted, but I am reminded that they support me in ways that continue to surprise me, and many without qualification.
This past week has been one of the best weeks of my entire life. Looking back at the photos evokes an instant smile on my face. I am amazed by this young person I see doing all these cool things, then I remember I am that person.