Stress and Direct Service

Yesterday was kind of hectic.

I was out two evenings this week at a training I really needed, and even though my substitute coordinators were amazing (perhaps even magical?), I was having some trouble feeling like I 100% knew what was going on at my center.  Being out also meant that I wasn’t doing my normal job for two evenings, so I had a backlog of “stuff” to take care of.

So I was getting a little stressed about falling behind.  I was getting worried about needing more subs this coming week and the next.  Our curriculum work has just started and I’m not sure how that’s going to fit in to the rest of my typical week.  And I really need to be doing some student outreach, which involves being out of the office and out in the community.  It just feels like I’m running out of hours when so much needs to be happening.

The thing about direct service is that each evening people come pouring into my learning center, reminding me why I bother to worry about what I’m worried about.  Unpaid teachers arrive early to plan the lessons they’ll be delivering on their own personal time.  My students come in, some after 12-hour work days, and work hard to learn more and more English.  And I see again and again that yes, everything I do is worth it.

It’s surprisingly calming to know that.

Tributary (photo by me)
Tributary (photo by me)
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