Out of lockdown! Back-to-school promises

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School has started back this week! It is Tuesday today, which means I have only finished 2 days physically at school this week (although we have completed 5 weeks of teaching from home). It is going to be a long week for students and teachers! There are many scriptures that have come to mind these last two days…

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”

Exodus 33:14

I mostly enjoyed lockdown – the slower pace, ready access to the coffee plunger, unlimited slipper time, and the absence of a 40 minute commute to and from school. I enjoyed being able to step outside into our olive grove for a breather between classes, cuddle the cat and stoke the fire. The introvert in me coped very well, the parent in me maybe not as well on the odd occasion. The juggling was difficult, (juggling my own video conference teaching and my kids following their own timetable of learning), but all in all it has been a positive time of bonding as a family, slowing down, reading more scripture and basically having good time to think, and just “be”.

This week we have returned to school…with hand sanitiser in every room, keeping doors open so handles are not touched all the time, timetable room re-jigs so that junior high-schoolers mostly stay in the same room, cleaning desks every day, and trying to maintain a healthy distance from others. Not so easy in the classroom, but if we are all sensible about things (like sneezing and coughing into the elbow, and washing hands), we should be fine.

I have very much enjoyed seeing my students again, and teaching in the classroom face to face. It has been great to be able to pray together, sing together, and actually properly eyeball the delightful souls that sit in my room. I have enjoyed being able to encourage and affirm my students, and have an easy relaxed conversation without a screen. I have enjoyed having my students ask me how I am, and open the door for me, and pick up something I drop. This daily interaction is quite unique, and very refreshing.

And so it is 8:30pm and I am wondering if it would be too noticeable if I crept away to bed. It feels just like the first week of school every new year…except it is the middle of May. It is weird, but definitely interesting! So I am making a tonic drink to share before bed – olive leaf tea, blackcurrant cordial, elderberry cordial and a squeeze of lemon. That should help keep the immune system boosted!

“…be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

Ephesians 6:10

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