"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly

3/31/10

Responding to uncertainty

Grace. Dignity. Generosity. Kindness. Quiet. Energy.

Our school, along with many others, is facing the challenge of responding with excellence to the needs of student learners, despite drastic reduction in resources.

The sole certainty is that this is our commission, our mission.

One possibility is that there will be even fewer resources next year, and the year after, as Federal and State funding drains away.

On a personal level, this could mean that individual teachers could lose their jobs.
This includes me.

Here's what I see: for twenty years, I've been lucky enough to make a living by doing what I love. I've been offered the daily opportunity to spend time being challenged to grow, enriched by interactions, and steeped in the joy of working with young people just bursting with life.

I'm struggling right now, knowing that kind of work could end, in this context, due to the overall school system's need to concentrate financial resources.

It's difficult to work when uncertainty looms. It's a challenge to continue to respond well to the needs of each day, knowing that everything could change drastically in June.

OK. So, I have no control over that. But---but I do have control over how I respond to this. I can choose to set the uncertainties, the worries, aside---and to focus on the work right in front of me. In the words, from twenty years ago, of a wise Jesuit friend of mine, Father Ollie, "Do not let worries over the future blind you to the very real need for service right in front of you, right now."

I'm choosing to live right now. I'm choosing to respond--or at least, to remain in focus on working to respond--with

Grace. Dignity. Generosity. Kindness. Quiet. Energy.

Yes.

2 comments:

Laurel Massé said...

Karla, I always love your blog posts. This one makes me sad, and also reaffirms my admiration for you as a teacher and as a human being.
I have just finished reading Gene Robinson's inspiring book, In the Eye of the Storm. He is no stranger to uncertainty; quoting Bishop Barbara Harris (the first female Episcopal bishop) he writes:
The power behind you is greater than the task before you.

Karla said...

Laurel-- It's true, the tasks set before us are generally intended to help us to stretch and to grow. (Sometimes it's just harder to see that, in the midst of things!)
Thank you, both for reading and for your kind comment.