Good afternoon, Families,
A few quick announcements prior to my newsletter today.
Tuition Assistance communication will be going out next week. Note that for returning families, the deadline to apply for tuition assistance through Fulcrum and OLG is firm: December 31st. No exceptions. If you believe you may need assistance, please complete FACTS Grant & Aid. More details to come next week.
- Next week is Thanksgiving week. Wednesday is a ½ day and there is no aftercare ELC or EDC. Thank you for understanding.
- Please see the calendar and the sections below for further details.
Yesterday I was reading my prayer book, which focuses on Ignatian Spirituality. The passage was talking about Achilles, from the Iliad, who hungered for fame so much that he was willing to die for glory, sacrificing all else, including love and happiness, simply to be recognized, seen as great, seen as special, the most important, etc. Nothing else, no one else mattered, only him and his hunger and thirst for fame, and satisfying his needs above all else. The passage went on to reflect on what Ignatius would have thought about Achilles, but the last line struck me, and I keep finding myself returning to it. The line was this: “You are not special. At the center of all things is love, not you.”
You are not special? Did God not make us all unique and in his own image and likeness? Are we not all very special and precious to God and to the world? Is “You are Special” not one of the tiles of a children’s book sitting right next to me on my bookshelf as we speak? As I thought about this statement, what I believe the real message is, is not “you are not special”, but simply-- you are not more special than anyone else. You are not the center of the universe, as Achilles thought himself to be. Love is. God is. And so, we must center ourselves here, in love, in our faith and in God. We must find balance. And if God and love are not at the center, our world is distorted.
As human beings we all have needs. We all have challenges. We all have lives outside of our communities, outside of our professions, outside of our families. As human beings, we all have mental health, and sometimes our mental health is good, and sometimes it is tested, or downright poor. Many factors impact our state of being-- families, life, economy, jobs, friendships, the list is long. At the end of the day, we are human. Teachers are no exception to this. Our timing may not be succinct with others’ timing, it may not line up for our professions, or the needs and demands of others. We are human. We are not AI, we are not robotic. We do not get programmed and contrived. The world does not revolve around us. God’s time is not our time. We do with it what we will, and try to use our time to the best of our ability. Often, that requires sacrifice, frequently that requires challenge. Sometimes it impacts others, and may even rock the boat. So how do we stay centered in love, and not centered in “how does this impact me”? This, so often, is difficult to do as humans, and the best way is often to do it together.
This week, my boat was rocked, as was the boat at OLG. Ms. Fuchs’, our excellent fourth grade teacher, and beloved and respected member of our community, submitted her resignation, effective December 14th, for personal reasons, leaving the entire profession, not just OLG. One aspect that was shared was that the extreme demands of the profession, and that the center of her life (and many teachers’ lives), had become work. There was no balance, only increasing demand. As I communicated with 4th grade families this morning, and to the kids as well, this takes a toll, and impacts everyone. When there is no balance, it impacts our well being, and we are people, with human timing and human needs. As a community, we respect and care for Ms. Fuchs. We will continue to do so, and will continue to care and support the fourth grade students with love and compassion, and modeling of kindness, and respect. Going back to what was shared in my prayer book, “At the center of all things is love”.
Further communication about next steps has been shared with 4th grade families. We are actively seeking a long term substitute and I know that as a community of families, staff and faculty, we will work together to be a foundation for the students. As a community we are called to help bring people to the center, grounded in love. This will not be the sole task for the new teacher alone, but one we must do together. We ARE special, when we are grounded in love. But if we believe that we are greater than another, then all is lost.
Thank you for being a support to Ms. Fuchs. I know that her departure is one of great discernment and sadness, but also one that is deeply personal. If you have questions, please reach out. For now, let us stay centered and grounded in love, and love alone.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us.