From time to time my youngest son has what he calls a “thinking day.” This is a day in which he doesn’t do much but spends time thinking, about anything and everything that crosses his mind.
Now I know that not all of us are wired the same way and that for many people the idea of spending time just thinking would either be considered a waste of time or be unutterably boring. Some people are thinkers, others are doers.
I’m pretty sure I’m a thinker. I certainly know that when my youngest and I get together our conversations range over a wide variety of topics and I cherish these times spent with another “thinker.”
As I write this it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m not at a party. I’m on my own. By choice. I’ve had a pretty busy time these last two months: 4 weeks supporting asylum seekers on Nauru; moved house; Christmas. More than enough “doing” for a while – and I just need to stop.
So it’s New Year’s Eve. The old year is ending and a new one is just beginning. It’s a very good time to spend thinking back over this year and looking forward to the next. And I find that I often do my best thinking as I write.
One of the things that came out of my time on Nauru was the sense that my Nauru experience is a plumb-line for my life now; that rather than trying to “fit” Nauru into my “normal” life, the reverse is true – the things I learnt on Nauru are to be the standard by which I judge and shape my life here.
So what did I learn? That I’m a very good teacher and that teaching is part of my DNA. I don’t feel I need to go back to school teaching; in fact I’m no longer qualified to teach in schools as my teaching diploma is no longer a sufficient standard. No, teaching is not limited to schools and being a teacher is not governed by qualifications. Teachers are born; we’re just made that way; we can’t help but teach.
So my challenge for 2013 is to find ways to teach more. On Nauru I was teaching 5-6 days a week and loving it. In my current role I’m lucky to teach more than once a week.
I know I have to keep focussed on this as I can so easily be distracted by the needs and demands of the community I live in and serve. But if I’m made to be a teacher then I need to teach. Without it I’m like a bird condemned never to fly. And that’s what it felt like on Nauru, teaching again and so often – I felt like I was flying.
This blog is one way I can teach as I share the things I’ve learnt. Perhaps there’s a book just waiting to be written (that has been a long-held desire). Who knows?
Bring on 2013!