falling in love
There’s a teacher thing that happens for me that no one talks about. Partway through each semester, I fall in love with my class. Not a particular student and not because of a particular thing. But in some moment that builds on all the ones before it, the intimacy and the vulnerability in our shared creation opens my heart. Fully, deliciously, poignantly, in a way that I don’t want to end.
It happens in response to the brilliant things students say, but more it happens when I experience them stretching, being willing to not know or to unlearn, and to fully show up with each other. It happens when the class is bubbling and pulsing so much that even when we are done no one wants to leave. It happens when people light up, people sigh deep, people take risks, people trust themselves and each other.
I canceled one day next month for a workshop that I’m traveling to attend, and I'm already grieving that missed day of class, even though I scheduled an extra session during make-up week. I feel so curious each week what they will bring, who will step up, who will lean in. I wonder and discover how to tend them well, with focus, with compassion, with presence and with right direction as I fall in love with them, collectively.
The love falling for me this semester happened this week. It wasn’t our most intense session so far. That would have been last Tuesday, when someone unknowingly invited something edgy and many in the room unfurled. It happened today - a co-created weaving of bright beings who brought deep inquiries and offerings and set them in the center of our room with courage, with generosity and with hope.
Nowhere in the teacher’s handbook does it say what to do when we fall in love with our class, what to do when the whole of them makes us swoon. Tomorrow I’ll write e-mails assigning small groups, remind them of due dates and troubleshoot our course page. Tonight, I am going to let myself bask a bit in the warm depth of love for a collective, for a co-woven creation, for a body of learning that is temporal and whose impact will ripple beyond time.