As a teacher, I am always looking for inspiration. Undoubtedly, there are times of year when I feel tired or burned out. I have not lost my love of teaching, but the inner fire of my teaching spirit is lower than usual, diminished by long periods of time in the classroom. It is part of the job to have those moments of needing to renew. As I reset between Spring and Summer semesters, I have been thinking about “lineage”.
Lineage speaks to that which has come before us and that which we pass on to future generations. In education, we honor the teachers of our teachers. I consider it a great gift that in my pedagogical repertory I teach one subject that is from ancient roots. Through oral tradition, old texts, and translations of the practices for today’s world, yoga studies remain richer than ever. I honor my teachers who shared this practice with me, who made it something I could teach to my students.
As we honor graduates of various sorts of schools, we must also celebrate the great, long lineage of the teaching profession itself. Teachers, regardless of subject, carry on the tradition of learning, thinking, questioning, advising, mentoring, challenging, and embracing the pursuit of greater knowledge.
I share with you a poem by Charles Olson. It will help me to keep my inner teaching spirit bright for another year.
whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them
And the dirt
Just to make clear
where they come from
- Charles Olson
In my interpretation this poem honors lineage. I cannot help but think of the great responsibility and humility of my career path. In this poem, I also find gratitude for all of my teachers, those I have learned from and those I have yet to meet.