Sam Intrator once wrote in his article Teachers: The Heart of Education, if teachers are not well, their students cannot be well. Over the past few years of my emerging teaching career I have not always been well. There were glimmers of hope and inspiration from time to time, but I was often not well and not living the balanced life I wanted to live. Slowly, I stopped doing the things I loved. I stopped walking, reading, socializing, and writing. I taught and that was it. As amazing as teaching can be, it wasn't enough. I was no longer whole.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to participate in the Yellowstone chapter of the National Writing Project this summer. In fact, the institute just ended today. It was just the salve I needed to help me be well as a teacher and as an individual. The intense collaboration and interaction with my 16 fellow writers and teachers made me well. I can write again and plan on doing so every day! Writing, after all, is what helps me shape my perspective and experiences. It helps me laugh, reflect, and sometimes cry at any given moment. The Writing Project helped me find this again.
So... I'm going to muse about my wandering spirit and adventures once again, trying desperately not to fall off the wagon. More than anything this space is my accountability for my own writing challenge and my effort to support The Project's philosophies. Thank you NWP and YWP. I owe you a great deal.