It’s the first week of school for me, and over the course of the summer, my teacher life has been turned upside down. Certainly, a lot of these changes have been positive, but —
I’ve moved classrooms. Our whole school has moved classrooms as we’re basically instituting a school-within-a-school program. A program which, by the way, is under all kinds of scrutiny from other teachers, district administration, parents, and other members of the community. The talk is that this will change the way we do school, which, I know, is what the talk always says. But this time there is action — and budget dollars! — behind it; things are actually changing.
Only partly related to that, our current administration is, on the whole, less experienced than was our administration in previous years. They are competent, approachable, and enthusiastic, but they are not the leadership faces I’m used to seeing. Moreover, a lot of people with whom I interacted personally — the administrators who hired and evaluated me, the department chairs who mentored me — have moved on to the proverbial bigger and better things.
The two teachers with whom I was teamed last year are no longer in the same positions (one is not at school at all; I found this out late last week). In their places are two brand new faces. They are solid and resourceful and independent, so I know we’re going to be fine. But this is the first time I’ve experienced teachers (and administrators, even) regularly looking to me to know the ropes.
And that’s when it dawned on me: I am a leader at my school.
Someone zapped me into a grownup when I wasn’t looking, and I’m not quite sure what to do with that. It’s destabilizing, unsettling.
In the chakra system, the Muladhara or Root Chakra manages what might be considered “survival needs,” including physical location and finances. While I’m not actually afraid that my job is in jeopardy (I mean, no more than normal, considering a state legislature that believes public education is a tool of the devil), I can’t deny that my position in my profession — which has, for the past couple of years, been a grounding identity in my life — is changing in a big way.
In the body, Muladhara corresponds to the base of the spine as well as the legs and feet. It’s totally possible that I’m getting all touchy-cosmic-yoga-spacey, but this might explain why I’ve become immensely attached to my new running shoes so quickly — and why I insisted on wearing them to work for all my pre-student days. I mean, yes, they’re remarkably comfortable and also well suited to moving furniture and carrying boxes. So I might have worn them anyway. But unlike some other shoes that are nearly equally suited to setting up a classroom, these shoes let me feel the ground under my feet.
Because I know, in a few weeks, I’ll have a new routine — and it will seem like I’ve kept it for years. But until then, it’s nice to feel stability where I can.