Bittersweet: A Meditation for Teachers


“Patience is bitter but its fruit sweet.”
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There are weeks, even months, when we look forward to arriving at school each morning. We open our doors and relish the start of a new day of learning and laughter with our students. This is a fortunate period. These days that are so brightly colored and flavored, however, can change from happy anticipation to dread. Our enthusiasm takes a dip, if not a plummet, and when late Sunday afternoon arrives, we often feel grayness settling around us. The sweetness of our jobs has turned to bitterness. If we have loved our days at school, this can be not only startling, but also depressing. During these dark times our fire seems to have been extinguished, and we simply do not know where to turn. One small thing—and at this time, all steps must be small—we can do is to take a careful inventory of our day to find what sweet moments still remain. We must give our attention to the things that nurture us; then we can regain some hope that joy will return. If the sweetness of our day can turn to bitterness, we can have confidence that the reverse can also take place.

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”
—Samuel Johnson

moment_of_peaceThis post appeared in A Moment of Peace & Quiet: Meditations for Teachers by Gail G. Mesplay.

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