It’s a late Friday afternoon, and I am dripping in sweat. For the first time in months, I’m attempting to clean out my apartment—like, really clean it. The process, to be honest, is daunting. Months worth of papers are stacked on my counter, and piles of unfolded laundry lay at rest on my couch, on my bed, everywhere really.
I look around and ask myself, “How did I get here?”
It’s been a while since I’ve written here. There are all sorts of things I could name as the culprit—bad time management on my part, an increasingly hectic end of the year, an occasional feeling of being overwhelmed at the current state of America.
Those are all true, but they don’t always merit writing about. I’m sure I’m not the only educator who approaches the end of May and the beginning of June feeling that way.
Admittedly, there have just been a few things that have been heavy on my heart but that I have felt too scared to write about. It’s been easier to stay quiet then it has been to try and challenge myself to look inward at my own practice.
It would be easy, as I leave my fifth year of teaching and prepare for the next, to just shrug my shoulders and move forward. That’s no way to grow though. Our students and our profession deserve so much more.
So, in the next few days, I’m clearing out the clutter and hitting the reset button. As we move towards a time where we can finally breathe, take stock, and let our spirits recharge for the next year, I hope we’re willing to ask ourselves tough questions in the process. When we ask ourselves, “How did I get here?” I hope we’re willing to dig deep to really find an answer.
Here’s a list of the things I’m pushing myself on in the next few days—both personal and professional. I’d love to hear how others push the reset button as well.
Until then, here’s to starting to clear out the cobwebs of our beings and let summer shine in.
Ms. Torres’s Reading List
- Valencia Clay’s “Soundless Cries Don’t Lead to Healing”
- bell hook’s “Teaching to Transgress”
- Chris Edmin’s “For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood”
- Kristina Rigza’s “Mission High”
- Teaching Tolerance’s “Ally or Accomplice?”
Ms. Torres’ To-Do List
- Read and implement aspects of the KonMari method to finally get my apartment in working order
- Donate old books to the library
- Donate old clothes to Big Brothers, Big Sisters (especially things I haven’t touched in a year or more!)
- Clean out my fridge
- Go outside
- Call someone to reconnect at least once a week
Photo by Christina Torres
The opinions expressed in The Intersection: Culture and Race in Schools are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.