"Wherever you are, be all there."

I've just finished another celebratory "last meal" of summer vacation. Yes, another. I celebrated last Friday night, my last weekday. I celebrated last Sunday, my last day before meetings. And now it's my last weekend before the students arrive on campus.

But now it's becoming for real. Students will come for orientation tomorrow and stay for school on Tuesday. And although I am sad to give up long mornings sipping coffee on my couch (don't hate me for being honest), I'm really excited to be with them again. I'm excited for their energy and their ideas and their view of the world. I'm excited to create with them and learn from them and hopefully teach them a few things along the way.

One of our first activities of the year is to reflect on our goals & mottos for the year (props to David Theriault for this idea). And I'm realizing that that means I need to model that as well. Now, in my fourth year, the curriculum is starting to get comfortable, and I'm finding it's difficult to focus on what I want to accomplish this year.

After a week of pondering, I think my motto for the year comes from Jim Elliot, who said, "Wherever you are, be all there." At school, I want to attend fully to my students and love them deeply as we explore together. At home, I'm hoping to use my apartment to provide opportunities for others to gather around the table and be. I'll still think about the future and all the many things in my life, but those thoughts can happen when I'm home alone or discussing with a friend. This year, I just want to be all there, wherever there is.

But I'm still a little stuck on my SMART goals as it relates to my classroom. I want to love my students well and see them grow, but I'm not exactly sure what that looks like yet. And I can't decide if that ambiguity is okay. Yeah, I'm updating some units and adopting a new vision, but is that enough? Is this what it's like to be an "experienced" teacher, or am I just tired? I honestly don't know.

So despite my lack of specifics, I hope to be present wherever I am. If I'm not, if I'm with you and caught up in something else, smack me upside the head and remind me. Seriously. I'm looking forward to seeing the things that can happen when we "[are] all there."