Last year my husband and I bought two kayaks, and we love paddling the Lumber River here in North Carolina. It’s a peaceful, quiet river, and within moments of starting each trip, it’s as if we have left civilization behind. The section of the river we paddle is narrow and winding, full of twists and turns, and we never know what we might find around the next bend.
One thing I love about kayaking is the way I can think through things as I paddle along quietly. I’m away from my computer and all of the hectic activity that fills my life at home, and my mind just drifts quietly from thought to thought. With school starting in just a few weeks, the end of summer vacation is on my mind. I do love summer with its freedom and time to relax, but I’m also looking forward to a new school year. I can’t imagine being anything else but a teacher!
As a paddled along, I reflected that each school year is like another trip down the Lumber River. It’s the same river, yet it’s always different. Sometimes the water is so high that it rises over its banks, and other days it’s so low that we have to navigate around stumps and trees, frequently getting out to drag our kayaks over obstacles. Teaching is like that for me, and I would go crazy if I had a job where every day was the same. One reason I love teaching is that each day is different, and I can never predict exactly what is going to happen next. In the same way that I can get ready for a river trip, I can plan and prepare for teaching, but I have to meet each obstacle as I encounter it, using my creativity to overcome problems. Sometimes I have to paddle furiously to battle against the current, and other times I can just drift along, enjoying the ride. No matter what, each day in the classroom is an adventure! Let the adventure begin!