Now that I’ve supposedly retired, I have more time to do some of the things I love – like teach! Since I’m free of grading and other paperwork, I just enjoy teaching the lesson of the day, adding a song or game to make it fun and remembered.
Being a substitute teacher works kinda like life:
Sometimes I don’t know where I’ll be the next day, or hour. So I check with the master plan (computer) to see (sorta like prayer). I may get info right then, or may have to keep on trying, sometimes even during the night or early morning.
Once I know where I’m going, I do what seniors are supposed to do to keep their minds sharp:
I do a puzzle ( Google then drive somewhere new).
Walk a maze (in the parking lot to find the right door, then in the building to find my room),
And do some mental processing to learn the class plans, schedule, and students’ names/pronunciations.
Working with kids is like darting out amid crazy ants racing wildly in all directions! Adults sometimes get the illusion that they are in charge. Yet, it all slows down with a few hugs and moments of listening combined with admiring looks directed at the students.
At times I think of the old saying “I may never pass this way again.” So I plant seeds of love and learning, seeds in the snow. Some will grow. A few times I’ve been on the playground and heard kids singing, “The Earth is Our Mother, we must take care of her”—a song which I teach in spare moments to serve up some fun, facts, fine values, and good memories here and there. It’s being sung in play yards all over the county!
Out of the more than 50 schools in the district, I’ve been to all but a couple.
Constant change reminds me to live in the moment. I carry my driving directions, class plans, etc, and stay focused to end up at the right place at the right time. When buses take the students home I know to let it go, not look back but only look forward. Then I go home, tutor for a couple of hours and start supper.
A couple of nights I then go and sing at church. Another night I spend pondering with others how to navigate the latest struggle life has dealt out in living with chronic illness and cancer in our family. Then there are the 2 book clubs, and my writing group where I go to sharpen skills and remind myself of my goals and directions.
You may think it’s a zany life, but see how really Zen it all is:
I must stay focused in the now or I’ll get lost! If I let go of the past (over and over) I enjoy the many present moments, and they are indeed presents!
I give up the need to control, compete, or complain – choosing instead fleeting moments I’m offered for joy, pain, or those charming “senior” problem-solving exercises I told you about.
If you haven’t noticed, we’re all on the same long-term plan. . .so what we have is this place and this time. So I guess we’d better cherish it. But don’t hold on too tight. Tomorrow there will be different places and lessons. Let it go.
All of us have a Lite at the End of the Tunnel!
It’s an old friend
The light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes, I think it’s moving, or maybe glimmering.
Watch your step. Stay on task, or have fun…
Is that flickering coming a bit closer?
It’s an old friend. Step up. Greet the new day.
We’re looking at the new normal, getting shorter by the hour.
Share, break bread together. Grin at the little things. Have fun.
I think I see the light . . . Yup, it’s that old friend—the light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve looked down the tunnel of life, and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is coming my way.
See that flower? Hey, let’s plant a tree. Maybe have a picnic and dance in the sun. We could share a cookie. Oh heck, let’s boogie.
It’s an old friend . . . that light. So you say it’s a Mac truck?
Maybe so, let’s sing a new song. I think we can have a good day. Wanna play?
I’m determined to dance in the shadows while that light at the end of the tunnel lights my ways and informs my days.
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Contact author for permission for publication.