The rolling hills of Northern Appalachia reached saturation of green well over a month ago, and the Tulip Poplar trees now show hints of various shades of yellow on their leaves.
Sweet corn stands from local farms populate parking lots.
Nights and mornings are cooler in temperature. The shasta daisies, bee balm and echinacea flowers display their final hurrah.
The energy of this in between time, the still languid days of summer and for teachers, the time to prepare and look towards the upcoming school year, the hum of busyness emerges in shopping centers with back to school sales and parents attempting to establish a more consistent routine closer to a school day.
When my children (now adults), were in elementary school I always volunteered to assist their teacher in prepping the classroom as well as bringing a care package of numerous boxes of tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer and other goodies that teachers typically spend their own money on to fortify their classroom.
Since my children have left their K-12 days long behind, there have been numerous school shootings, 27 in 2022 alone and 2021 saw 691 mass shootings in the United States.
And then there is the still ongoing pandemic with conflicting information on responsible guidelines to reduce transmission. I wonder what a care package for teachers looks like today?
Many of us recognized during the lockdown, how crucial the job of teaching is to society. Many of us witnessed how the pandemic shone light harshly perhaps, on the inequities in our culture, lack of access to technology/devices/Internet as well as basic resources to survive, let alone thrive.
And here we now, not quite on the other side of anything. This time that can feel brutal as well as emergent with glimmers of hope.
My grandson enters pre-K this year, my daughter continues her graduate studies at university, and we are welcoming a student into our home from China who will attend the local high school that my children attended. I think of the teachers from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Jane Stoner, who affirmed my love of reading to Professors and Educators in Higher Ed that stoked my passion for justice.
So, Teachers/Educators, you are on my mind and also in my heart in this preparatory time,
So here is a Blessing for You.
Blessing for Teachers
May you be reminded of your own love of learning daily.
May you see emergent possibility in the hearts of the young people in your classrooms.
May you hold awareness of the responsibility to shape and grow curious minds.
May your daily tasks be done with intention and reverence.
May you and your students be safe, healthy and be afforded all the resources necessary to engage in the sharing of Wisdom.
May you know the depth of appreciation for your vocation from your students/parents/community/institution.
May you rest well knowing you are planting seeds for the future.