Teaching is constantly climbing up another step

Bird Droppings November 16, 2021

Teaching is constantly climbing up another step

I got up and went out to see the sunrise this morning. It wasn’t as brilliant as I’ve seen, but it was the contrast of the dark clouds moving through and a little bit of pink and orange behind it. I drove out to the lake and watched the mist on the lake rising through the end of the sunrise. As I came home, as I’ve been doing lately, I try and catch a nap in the morning rather than falling asleep during the day when I’m in the middle of things. I got up from a quick rest for a phone call from my son, and here I am, sitting on my back porch getting the day started as I have for many mornings now, drinking some tea, listening, watching the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

It’s a quiet morning. There is a muffled sound off in the distance of the road noise from Highway 78. The air is; still, not even a breeze the ivy hanging from the trees is; still,  the pine trees aren’t rustling,  leaves aren’t falling, although most are gone from the persimmon and the oak trees in the backyard. The black walnut trees are on naked to my right, and the  sycamore trees are brilliant brownish orange.

Today has been interesting. I have been hammered with a seasonal allergy sinus issue, which made me think back about five years, and the smoke from North Georgia drove me crazy. Our house is heated with gas, and the dry heat does me in every year. Combining that with turning seventy-two and pondering what to do next with my life makes for enjoyable mornings. I have paperwork to complete and things I need to attend to and seem to put off waiting on tomorrow. Applications to get in ideas to float about and so much more. I am trying to finish up; last two chapters of my dissertation. I was thinking back to my last year at Loganville High School and so many kids who could care less about school. Years ago, I would have spent time looking at why. Sadly I was content to watch them fall off the face of the earth. You have to pick your battles with limited resources physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Thanksgiving break is next week. My son talks every day about a week or two of class and then a week or so of testing, and the semester mountain is nearly climbed as we approach the holidays. I Have a definite aversion to shopping. At some point, I will be going out with my wife to brave the masses of the malls and finish up the holiday shopping while toting a ton of gifts.

I am looking forward to the holidays while we get some grandkid time.

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 finishing up another season nine of Castle, I am addicted to streaming TV. This morning, I started reading posts from friends to a fellow teacher and family friend whose husband was killed in an automobile accident several years ago. It is a difficult time of year for families to deal with a loss.  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 woman in the world. She discusses her philosophy of success here and is simple,  one step, one at a time to the top. So many folks want to jump from the ground to the top and forget there is 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 repeatedly 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 seize 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 heart and always give thanks namaste.

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

Mitakuye Oyasin 

(We are all related)


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