One of the biggest differences between teaching and other careers I’ve had is the sheer amount of decisions to make. When I was a journalist, I had a few decisions for an entire day: Which story will I work on first? Who do I need to call? Should I leave this lede or change it? This is not the case with teaching. Teachers sometimes make as many as five decisions a minute: Yes you can. No you can’t. Let’s start here. It’s right there. Get into your groups. Do you remember where we stopped yesterday? And on and on.
Which is exhausting in a way that stuns and crumbles every brain cell some days. It’s hard to remember my name or what I’m doing. Which brings me to the title of this post: Be here now.
If I were the tattoo-on-my-arm type, I’d get “Be Here Now” or even “bhn” tattooed inside my left forearm where I could see it. When everything crashes into me at once, I try to remember to take a breath and feel myself standing or sitting. I try to be all there, as Jim Elliot advises. I have varying degrees of success with this, but I invite you to join me in this simple practice. When you find yourself overwhelmed by the end-of-semester tsunami, take a breath or two. Feel your feet or feel yourself sitting in the chair. Notice who is front of you. Let the rest go. Be here now.