“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes
I’ve taught ESL for six years now. It has been a very good thing for a season. But now it’s the end of that season. <sigh>
First, let me tell you why teaching English has been a very good thing for me.
Before I got sick, I used to teach women at my church, and high school math students after school; teaching brings me much joy. When I got sick, I couldn’t “do mornings” anymore, so I had to pull back from teaching at church, and it was hard to keep tutoring in the afternoons as my energy flagged, especially in the fall and winter.
One summer I got the opportunity to teach ESL in the evenings. Teaching is just one of my passions; I’m also passionate about language, I love cross-cultural connections, and, from my travel experiences, I have compassion for those who are in a foreign country without being able to speak the language well. Teaching English to people from other countries and cultures makes my whole brain light up!
That first summer was great, but as we entered the Fall and winter, I had to be sure to have a back-up plan ready because I’d never know if I’d be able to teach or not. It was great to have a team of teachers who were willing and able, and I didn’t have to worry that class would have to be cancelled if I was unable to come.
Over the next few years, I began to emerge from the depression of isolation and I “bloomed” as an ESL teacher – such eager students with so much to share with me. One night a week was enough to feel useful and productive and “make a difference”. As I learned other tools for the depression and got better medication for the fibromyalgia, I became able to fully function as a teacher of the advanced class, all year round.
Now this very good thing is coming to a close; all three of us teachers are new grandmothers whose hearts are being pulled to our little ones, and the rest of our lives are pulling us, too. We love our students and would like to see other people step up to teach these classes, but it is time for the three of us to move on.
Takeaway: saying “goodbye” doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good thing, and saying “goodbye” NOW is better than waiting until it isn’t a good thing anymore.
I’ve learned that sometimes “Good things” are designed for a season and it’s not failure or weakness to let them come to a good end. Now I can look forward with joy and expectation to my next “good thing”.