Teaching is constantly climbing up another rung

Bird Droppings November 3, 2021

Teaching is constantly climbing up another rung

I had a rough night sleeping, having stayed up watching election results. I was planning on writing this morning. I got seriously caught up in election news. I had a few ideas for my dissertation I would like to have completed by tomorrow. I started working on chapters four and five. I have been unseasonably relaxed without seasonal allergies till this morning’s sinus issue. The smoke from North Georgia wiped me out around this time four years back. On top of that, our house is heated with gas, and the dry heat does me in every year. Although we have only turned the heat on twice so far, we went back to AC when temps went up again. Combining that with turning seventy-two and pondering what to do next with my life makes for enjoyable mornings.

I have to complete and things I need to attend to and seem to put off always waiting on tomorrow. I have a book idea to send to a publisher, and a good friend suggested the idea to the publisher, and they contacted me. Three years ago, I was trying to survive a class of kids where several had no intention of making it to graduation and would spend a day or two with us and then be in ISS, in school suspension and or out of school suspension and or don’t come at all. Years ago, I would have spent time looking at why. Now I am content to watch them fall off the face of the earth. You have to pick your battles with limited resources physically, emotionally, and mentally. I think that was why I sought retirement with the drain of apathy among high school kids today. Some days I wonder why I went back as apathy among teachers and students is high.

Thanksgiving holiday break for schools is in three weeks, and family gatherings that traditionally would be looked forward to may have to go by the wayside this year.  My aversion to shopping may save me this year with Covid as an excuse I will not be coerced into going out with my wife to brave the masses of the malls and do the holiday shopping. I won’t be toting many gifts anytime soon, so I have that going for me.

I am looking forward to the holidays while grandkids are out from school for nearly two weeks.

I am looking forward to spending time with friends and family. We have multiple Christmas’ going around the south visiting South Georgia and North Carolina. I am seriously looking forward to sitting down and doing some writing and some serious holiday eating and cooking.

I am finishing up my meditation and writing this morning after an evening filled with sitting watching TV. This morning I started reading old posts from friends to a fellow teacher and family friend whose husband was killed in an automobile accident nine years ago. It is a difficult time of year for families to deal with a loss, but as I read through hundreds of posts and support from friends all over, some even returning home for the holidays to be with their friends in this time of sorrow and joy. Some days I am disappointed in the human spirit, but this is not one of those days.

“One only gets to the top rung of the ladder by steadily climbing up one at a time, and suddenly all sorts of powers, all sorts of abilities which you thought never belonged to you–suddenly become within your possibility, and you think, ‘Well, I’ll have a go, too.’” Margaret Thatcher

The first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain was in her time the most powerful in the world. She discusses her philosophy of success here and is simple, one step, one rung, one at a time to the top. So many folks want to jump from the ground to the top and forget there is so much in between. Seldom do you hear negative comments about Prime Minister Thatcher of her time in office and the great dignity and poise she brought at a difficult time in our world’s history?

“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year.” John Foster Dulles

One of the significant ways that we, as humans learn, is through trial and error. However, true success is not repeating the mistake again and again but doing anew, and that is when we are succeeding.

“What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind, there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” Benjamin F. Fairless

As I read this note and the four simple rules or ingredients to success, I was amazed at the simplicity. First, love what you do, and then give it your best, thirdly seize opportunities, and finally, teamwork and success can be yours. In no other field have I ever seen people take opportunities, such as in teaching. As I walk through the doors of a school and look at teachers so often, you can tell good teachers by who is smiling, a sure sign that they want to be there. For these teachers, it is not just a job. They love what they do and do give the job their best. When paper is allocated, or budget cuts restrict supplies, you learn quickly to be resourceful and work with others. It is so much easier to accomplish than working independently.

“Success is that old A B C; ability, breaks, and courage.” Charles Luckman

We acquire ability through learning and effort, taking advantage of breaks that come along, keeping our eyes open, and always being ready. Courage is that character aspect of us that is that inner drive that can lead a person upward.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.” Colin Powell

As he led US forces back a few years and then as Secretary of State, Colin Powell has put it all in order as far as life goes; to find success, you must prepare to do your homework. Then you do the work and get it done and finally learn from your errors, from your mistakes and use them to succeed. As I read this afternoon between cleaning and shopping, I found a thought I would like to end with.

“It is more important to be of service than successful.” Robert Kennedy Jr.     

For many people, success is a selfish thing, but finding true success is when what you do affects others positively. As I think back to so many, who are taking time today and yesterday to help with the pain of losing a loved one and so many other pieces of life’s puzzle, let us all take heed of the time we have. Today in this coming holiday, please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your heart and to always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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