Like most teachers, spring was a bit of a blur for me. There is always so much to do and unlike the fall that is punctuated by frequent holiday breaks, the spring semester stretches on often feeling interminable. Without fail though, summer always arrives just in time to save our sanity, and then the blur is a blissful kind. That being said, there were a few moments that particularly stood out in the blur these past months.
In late March/early April, I had the opportunity to go back to Haiti with a team from my church. We spent time with our friends at Canaan Christian Community there and enjoyed fellowshipping with them and helping them with a few projects. As a part of a "spring break camp" Canaan was holding for their own students and as well as for some other visiting children, we teamed up with the older students to lead various stations. I led the storytelling station and absolutely loved getting to do one of my favorite things and something that comes so naturally to me (teaching) to share the Gospel. Team laughter and bonding, the beautiful scenery despite the heat, and a few of the Canaan girls teaching me a dance were all highlights as well. My heart also started to dream again about ministry and missions, while realizing this can look a lot of different ways.
The next big moment came at the end of the school year. Every year, I have a special bond with my 5th graders and really enjoy teaching them. (Read: They're my favorites.) I'm always sad to see them go on to middle school. This year was especially significant though because it's the first time I had a group for all three years of enrichment. My first year of being the gifted specialist was their first year in enrichment (3rd grade). And due to a growing number of students and helpful staffing additions, I now only teach 4th and 5th grade enrichment so this special group of students will be the only group that I teach for all three years (as things stand now). I love them dearly and truly feel privileged to have been their enrichment teacher for the past three years. They are a remarkable group of students who remained sweet and motivated even until the end of 5th grade (which is quite a feat!). They are the main reason I love my job, and I won't be surprised to see them in the White House, on Broadway, or winning a Nobel Prize. Although I will miss their smiling faces, witty comments, and insightful questions next year, I look forward to seeing how they make a difference in this world.
Lastly, there's my recent trip to Washington, D.C. My dad had a conference in the DC area, and since my mom and I are both teachers with free schedules in the summer, we tagged along to enjoy the city. (A fun bonus included overlapping 2 days with my sister-in-law and brother, who also had a conference in DC.) Since I have an ongoing love affair with big cities, I was excited to spend a few days there and enjoy both some new experiences as well as some old favorites. While I definitely savored eating brunch in a local spot and even coveted some of the charming Old Town Alexandria town homes, I also was reminded anew that I have a tendency to romanticize or glamorize "city life." Commuting to work each day by metro sounds fun at first, but the reality is that I got nauseous multiple times on the train due to the heat and movement. Maybe one day God will call me to live in an urban setting, but for now, I'll enjoy the perks of smaller city living... and be thankful that I don't need to take Dramamine on a daily basis!