In all of our clutter and madness. In all of our piles of things. In all of our new toys, books, and unnecessary items, I seem to have found my peace. Mind you, it was not like that this morning when we left the house upside down, Christmas morning and a visit from Santa seems to do that to you. But now, after organizing, sorting, cleaning, and taking the time to appreciate all that we have, I am at peace. I am happy. Because the truth is; we really have so much. And not just in terms of gifts or newness, but in the things that still work. In the furniture we love. In the things that make this house a home.
So while this morning, I thought we needed more furniture, more bins, more things to control all of the new, I now know that it is not new that we need, it is better use of the old. It is the time to see the beauty in what we already have and find better uses for it that suits the family we are now.
And so I look to my classroom as well. How often we are enticed by all of the new and shiny. How often I assume that I need to do even more when my teachings seems off kilter, our metaphorical house a mess? That because the students surely will come back from break dragging their feet a bit, I better ready with all of the glitz. All of the glam. And in that need for reinvention is an assumption, I must throw out my ideas and replace them with something they have never tried before. Because what we are doing must be inherently broken. That what we are doing is beyond salvage simply because the components have been used before.
Today reminded me that this assumption is not true. That rather when something has been done the same way for so long, we tend to lose the purpose of it. That because it is now old, we no longer see its full potential. The wonder of it all that drew us to it in the first place.
So as I think ahead to the new year, as I contemplate ever so slowly of what my students need right now, I think of what I can re-purpose. Of what I can re-use but in a way that will make us love it again. In a way that will make us understand something deeper. Of what I can do to make it feel like a new classroom when they return, and yet also feel like theirs. Because it always has to feel like theirs or my purpose would be lost.
If you are looking for a great book club to join to re-energize you in January, consider the Passionate Learners book club on Facebook. We kick off January 10th.