Grace and Gratitude: Final Reflection on EDSE 457 Fall 2019

The semester isn’t quite over yet. Grading remains. Observations remain.  Final meetings remain.

In fact, even when the semester is over, it won’t be over for me because I have overlapping Spring & Fall semester student teachers…

But, classes are over and that means it’s time for my final reflection.

12 hours ago, I was feeling some kinda way about the previous 48 hours.  I mean, I was feeling some kinda way about today because I’ve been feeling some kinda way about this day for the last 7 years.

But, life has taught me to ride the waves, to get it out so you can let it go.

To breathe in and then breathe out….


In doing that, and in having the first moment in a long time where it is very quiet and there aren’t things to be done and I really just want to sit, write and reflect, with a warm cup of tea, I am finding peace, and grace and gratitude.

I am ready to think over this semester.

It has been an incredibly emotional, busy, exhausting semester.

I am super blessed to be surrounded by greatness.  People in my life opened doors for me this semester and I walked through them.  I started new collaborative projects, continued other collaborative projects, presented to new people, developed new ideas, pitched a TEDx talk that I’m giving in February, submitted some article manuscripts, taught some amazing students, mentored some others in their student teaching placements, led in some inspiring faculty professional learning spaces, helped edit a guidebook, pitched a couple of books, wrote a sabbatical application (fingers crossed), amplified Asian American voices in so many spaces I occupy personally and professionally, served in my faith community, served at my son’s school, started driving him to and from school more regularly, continued actively seeking out representation in books for my daughter, designed PRESCHOOL lesson plans (I’m a secondary teacher by trade so this is kind of a big deal), finished my second semester of Chinese language class.

Yeah, I guess it was kinda busy.

But, more than ever this semester, I centered compassion and mindfulness and tried to practice it in my work and my life.  I infused it into each one of my classes. It helped get our class community through a lock down on campus.  I was more mindful about representation in my curriculum that I’m committed to.  I was more compassionate towards my students and myself.  I gave us breaks.  I took breaks.

I tried my best….except when I didn’t, and that was new, but it was a relief, because actually, the world didn’t collapse.

I didn’t always get the results I wanted.  But that’s okay too, because it has helped me to grow.

At each moment where I’ve struggled, I’ve felt the support of my community, the deep love and connection of people who lift me up, who believe in me, who have connected with what I have to offer, who have connected with who I am.

In the hardest moments of this semester, my community has never let me give up or give in, although they have told me to eat and rest.  They are a treasure and I wish for everyone in the world to have community like this.

EDSE 457 students, this semester, there were many times where I felt like I failed you, but your love and support, your learning and growth remind me that we are all doing the best we can.  I love each of you, truly, and appreciate what you have to give to your future students.  It was a gift and an honor to work with you.  Thank you.


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