In September, I made a commitment to approach my teaching with simplicity, mindfulness, and peace.  

To prepare, I put several pieces in place:

  • I spent hours cleaning my classroom  
  • I chose times during my day and/or week to be present in the moment or maybe just stop and breathe
  • I promised to cultivate compassion for myself and others.

  • I created The Zen Teacher Project.

But then the first bell rang. 

And suddenly students were filing into my classroom, the admin team was expecting things, and calendar pages were flipping like a fan.  Before I knew it, two grading periods had passed, my room was messier, I was more frazzled, and stacks of papers needed to be graded.  

When Thanksgiving rolled around, I was grateful that our district had the week off because I could re-group.  I suppose it would be easy, when we return on Monday, to fall back into the same routines and be swallowed up by The Machine.  But I refuse.  Those days are over. I decided to use this vacation to re-focus my energies and polish my initial vision.  I’m trying to have the courage to stick to it, to honor my goals, and to cultivate my classroom Zen.  

When I return, I’ll renew my plan to keep the surfaces clear, hold sacred the time for peace and radical self-care, and embrace and practice my sense of compassion and gratitude.  

If this works, please feel free to use me as both model and inspiration.

If it doesn’t, please feel free to also.   TZT

* With apologies to The Mamas and the Papas