Last week at my kids’ birthday party, each of them received their very first Target gift card from my aunt. All week, my 5-year-old carried it around in the treasure pouch from his pirate costume, afraid to let it out of his sight. As the days passed and we got closer to the weekend, his requests to go to Target increased exponentially. Finally, after church and lunch today, we headed over to Target to let each of them choose something special.
As we got in the car to drive over to the store, my son was literally vibrating with anticipation.
And that was the real gift. Sure, he’s absolutely in love with the Lego set he picked out, but the time leading up to our shopping trip was so full of excitement and fun that I know he won’t soon forget the experience.
Anticipation has been on my mind a lot lately. It is such a powerful force in our lives. We eagerly anticipate so many happy things with joy and excitement–vacations, summer, Christmas, weddings, babies…the list goes on and on.
But many times anticipation also leads to worry. When things are unknown. When change is about to happen. When circumstances are simply out of our own control.
As I begin this week, it is full of anticipation. My kids’ return to school after several days sick at home. A dentist appointment. Parent-teacher conferences. The beginning of spring break. And the announcement of our teaching placements for next school year.
This fall I will be returning to a classroom position after 6 years of mentoring new teachers in an instructional coaching role. Right now our entire district is shifting due to opening a new elementary building in the fall, and every elementary teacher at every building will be notified this Friday of their teaching assignment next year. Some teachers will move buildings. Some will move grade levels. Most teams will not be the same next year. Many children will attend different schools. Every school will have a change in staff and culture. This is sure to be a week of high anticipation.
As I head into the next five days, I know that everything will work out. I know that each of us will still be doing a job we love in the fall. No matter who the children are in our classrooms, we will know and love them all. We will teach the same curriculum and, while we may be working with different teachers, we will all work with the same high quality of colleagues we have always worked beside. We will have new opportunities and new chances to build relationships.
So, while the unknown can be scary, I’m beginning this week by trying to keep my focus on having the same kind of excited anticipation my son showed today instead of the worried anticipation that wants to creep in. I hope my friends and colleagues can do the same. After all, no matter where each of us ends up, every school year is a new beginning doing what we love the most. And that’s something we can always anticipate with joy and excitement.
I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.