Friday Photo: Shifting Gears

The week before winter break is never easy for a middle school teacher. The combination of high energy and anticipation levels of the students juxtaposed with the need to finish units, projects and assessments makes for an exhausting experience. Add to that the needs of my own children at home, the cards, gifts and holiday cheer and I am not sure if I am coming or going.

Late last night as Leno wrapped up his monologue, I catch myself in an unsettling space between gearing up and winding down. A kaleidoscope of β€˜to-dos’ spins through my mind. Fortunately, sleep kicks in, and eight short hours later, I have a flash of clarity.

After driving through the mountains in the predawn hours, my son and I pass Donner Lake, and in that moment, as the water and sky met and steam hissed from its surface, I quickly stop the car. My brain pauses and we drink in the tranquility of the water before us. Silently I breathe deeply, wait, and shift back into gear with a new sense of calm.

Try it. Breathe. Pause. Wait. Shift.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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  1. Hi Yee Family-thanks for following!
    Hi Kathy-glad you liked the photo!
    Nancy-nature does really help us slow down, doesn’t it?
    Hi Mike-thanks, I will!
    Hi DustBunny-You’re welcome-enjoy yourself!

  2. that’s an important lesson, even without looming holidays. Take a minute to relax and catch a breath before going on. great reminder, lovely picture

  3. Hi Rebecka, I’m glad you liked the photo. My 12 year old son took it!
    Hi Jenny-glad to meet a fellow teacher! Good luck with student teaching and all-it’s worth it!
    Hi Perspective- I like the idea of taking in more oxygen…makes all the hustle and bustle a little easier to handle.
    Michael Ann- giggle giggle!
    Hi Barb- I spent today outside in the mountains, too. I feel so much better!

  4. I don’t think Michael Ann meant to say that…but you know…it works…and it’s true. We just went hiking in the mountains this weekend for this very pupoose…to get away from all the crap.
    Thanks for the smile and slow-down reminder.

  5. I am following your blog and stumbled your post! Good advice here… I will take your advice and find ways to relax and find some calm to switch gears from working late hours and Christmas and blog…to full time student teaching second grade and my certification test in Jan. I really love your blog! Glad we could connect!

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