Saturday, August 24, 2013

Three Days of Inspiration - Life and School

This post is a continuation of a series of three days of reflection on Life and School. 


Day 2 was spent at home.  My daughter was having a yard sale the upcoming weekend.  I would be there to help with the kids during the yard sale hours.  So on this day, I decided to gather some things to put in the garage sale. I didn't intend to take much but I figured the opportunity was there for me to pass a few things onto new owners.

I started with books.  I recently brought home all the books I had at school because I retired from 37 years of teaching and leading as a principal.  Those of you who are teachers can imagine what one can collect in 37 years.   I had shelves of picture books that will be given book by book and visit by visit to my grandchildren.  I had shelves and shelves of professional books on learning and teaching.  I passed some of them onto other teachers and brought some home because they were hallmark books that I couldn't do without. I had shelves of professional books on leadership and education.  Some of those I left for the new principal and the rest I brought home.  Needless to say I needed some bookshelf space.  I purchased a new bookcase but that wouldn't be enough.  So I started to sort.

I have a hard time parting with books.  I am a book junkie.  After I read a book, it sits on my shelf and reminds me of characters I loved.  However, I rarely reread them.  So on this day, I asked myself if I could part with a few of my fiction titles to create some shelf space.  I spent hours sorting and stacking.  I realized that some of the books I had read 15 years ago.  Why shouldn't I share these with others?

As I looked over each book and contemplated if I could part with it, I began to remember.  Why did I read this one?  Was it recommended by a friend?  Was it a book club selection?  I recalled the stories, the places, and the characters.  Who did I talk to about the book?  Why had I kept it for so long?

I finally had the books sorted into two stacks.  The first stack included the collection of books I was just not ready to part with  (Love in the Time of Cholera, Crossing to Safety and so many more).  In the other stack, I had those books that were difficult to part with but hoped someone else would enjoy a new reading adventure.  I packed those in a box ready to join the yard sale treasures.

Throughout the day, I walked about my home noticing other things -  not just books - that I could add to the yard sale.  As I considered each item I asked myself, "Could I part with it?  Did it still have a purpose?  Was it time to let it go?

These thoughts brought me back to school life.  Every school year, I would enter school in August to re-imagine my classroom, redesign the space, and reconsider routines.  The hardest part was letting go of some things to make way for the new.  It's good to let go of things.  It opens doors for new possibilities, new ways of thinking, and new adventures in learning, teaching and leading.