I feel scattered and a bit crabby as we transition to our fall schedule. It’s just all a bit unsettling. I will be teaching a high school course this year of Composition & Literature with some World History integrated in! And I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities.

In my usual style, I like to search out all the possible resources! I call myself a comprehensive thinker 😉 But as in all planning, at some point, I have to begin to narrow things down. I realize this is the same whether planning an Animal Tales block for second grade, a Norse Mythology block for fourth grade, or an English and History course for high school.

Because a few good resources is all we need! 

A Few Good Resources

So I have to make myself apply my own advice:

  • Find anywhere from four to six resources for the subject or block at hand.
  • Decide on a cut off date (mine is usually two weeks before I have to start teaching that subject or block…this might be too close for comfort for some of you!)
  • Pick one to three final resources, and order copies from the bookstore or library. 

Once you have your resource or resources in hand, divide up the parts you want to use or stories you want to tell into the days or time you have available for that subject or block! Pretty simple.

The trick is, at some point, we have to switch from searching to deciding!

A friend gave me the poem below last spring when I was struggling with my autoimmune flare and had very little energy. I looked online, and the author has a beautiful blog called The Painted Prayerbook. Here is a link to the full post in which this blessing first appeared. 

This blessing is for all of you who are in transition to a new season, to a fall rhythm and back into lessons. May you find what shimmers in the storm!

Blessing in the Chaos

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
Let what divides you
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

      –Jan Richardson

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    1. Yes, we all need reminders! I have a magnet on my refrigerator that reads: “peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Blessing in the Chaos is a beautiful reminder, too.

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