Maybe because my birthday has just passed, or maybe because the plants are blooming and I am starting to wake up, or maybe just because I am nostalgic, I find myself looking back today.
In March of 2007, I was waiting to earn my degree and flinging myself head first into my student teaching experience. I still think about those kids and my mentor: she taught me not to be afraid of teenagers, and they taught me not to be afraid of teaching poetry.
In 2008, I was struggling through my first year of teaching and directing my first play. The drama students taught me that homemade costumes and sets are beautiful when they serve as a background for pure energy.
Then we moved to North Carolina. In 2009, my Battle of the Books team taught me that promising milkshakes to eighteen adolescents is one way to create chaos.
In 2010, I was teaching 8th grade for the first time. My 8th graders taught me that they could read Shakespeare and that they could also enjoy it more than I would have predicted.
In 2011, the lesson I am learning from my students is to step back and let them flex their wings. The lesson my body is teaching me is to slow down or I really will make myself sick.
Sometimes I still feel so young and inexperienced, but then I look at the last five years. In that time, I've written four first drafts of different novels, started two more, had four poems and one short story published, taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, gotten married, moved to a new state, bought a house, and traveled to Egypt. And I've loved overwhelmingly most of it. But seeing it on paper makes me really understand: I do too much.
Yoga helps me to still myself, and writing helps even more. How do you find calm and quiet in the midst of frantic movement?