Well, another week of being sick. I’m sure people are tired of hearing about it…I guarantee you that my husband is! At one point last week between Thursday night and Saturday morning, I’d slept 26 hours, and then didn’t even wake up feeling rested. When I wrote last week that I was feeling better?
But finally. Finally! I was back at the doctor this week, got antibiotics, and felt stronger yesterday.
Hallelujah! The miracle of science.
I’m hoping that I haven’t jinxed it again, and that I am actually on the mend this time. I’m so far behind on life, that I need to prioritize what needs to be done first, and yet not overdo it! (How many days to Christmas dinner, which we are hosting this year??)
So although I’m still not 100%, I can function and had my first nap-free day in literally weeks. I totally understand why doctors are reticent to prescribe antibiotics. I can’t imagine going back to a world where you can die of an infected tooth, as a relative of ours did in that pre-penicillin time. Scary stuff.
And I did try everything possible. Rest. Tea. Tea with honey. Throat lozenges. Gargle with salt water. Vicks on my feet and wear socks to bed. Humidifier. Rest. Extra vitamin C. More rest.
And although some of those brought reprieve, they didn’t solve the problem.
But this made me think of working with kids. How many times are we trying everything we can? Meet them where they are? Encourage student voice? Student choice? Set up conditions for learning? For collaboration? Work side-by-side? Provide books that reflect and mirror? Nurture empathy? Encourage critical thinking? Allow for creativity in assessments? Authentic learning experiences? Foster social and emotional learning? Listen to their stories? Know them?
Sometimes, it just doesn’t work.
Okay, let me rephrase that. It’s not that these approaches don’t work, it’s that for some kids they aren’t enough.
And that is tough.
When you work in a school, you are a problem solver. From opening locks to locating missing binders, sometimes there are easy fixes. Figuring out who hasn’t had breakfast or why someone is having a head-down, hood-up type of morning? Requires some perception and discretion. And then there are things that there is just absolutely nothing I can do to make better. To make right.
I don’t have the answers.
And maybe that is the answer. That it isn’t always about a strategy to try or an adaptation to make, but for me to be humble enough to recognize that it isn’t about me or how I try to affect change.
That what works for one student won’t work for all.
That what has worked in the past, won’t necessarily work for the future.
That best intentions and efforts are not a guarantee for best results.
That we are humans working with small humans, all within the frailties of our own humanity.
That all I can do is keep searching for, and be open to solutions, however and whenever they may come.
And if they don’t, to keep believing in the value of what we do, and to just keep trying.
The book sitting beside me tonight…Embers by Richard Wagamese:
Me: What does it mean to believe?
Old Woman: It means to trust with your whole heart, to have faith. It means to have courage to act out of your belief.
Me: How do I do that?
Old Woman: You have to be honest.
Me: What do you mean?
Old Woman: You have to live your belief every day. To believe in something and not live it is dishonest.
And the song that was playing in my ears a few minutes ago…“For You” by the Barenaked Ladies:
There is nowhere else I would rather be
But I just can't be right here.
An enigma wrapped in a mystery
Or a fool consumed by fear.
And for every useless reason I know,
There's reason not to care.
If I hide myself wherever I go
Am I ever really there?
Here’s to a week of not hiding! Of being courageous, being vulnerable, being present, being honest, believing, and living those beliefs!
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