tools of the trade

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So classes begin tomorrow. I’m gathering my things and putting them in my briefcase. You know, so I’m ready to go first thing in the morning.

No one takes a picture of me on the first day of school anymore, but I might get into the spirit of it and take a selfie.

On second thought, NO.

But here’s what’s going into the ol’ briefcase:

1. A couple of Expo markers, black. I might throw in red and green in case I get inspired to draw a flower or something.

2. A couple of #2 pencils, and my favorite blue black Uni-Ball Vision Elite medium point pen. Yes, I am that precise when it comes to what kind of pen I like. It’s not OCD; it’s arthritic hands. Ok, and a little bit of OCD.

3. A small notebook. Because I never know when the next idea for a novel might inspire me.

4. My laptop, ipad, iphone, and all the accompanying chargers. Yes. I actually teach with those items. Really.

5. A rosary. Boy do I need to take a break with Mama Mary. The day hasn’t started and I already know this.

6. The coin you see pictured above, though not in the briefcase — more than likely in my pocket. It’s St. Gabriel. Why not St. Francis de Sales patron of teachers and writers, or perhaps St. John Baptist de La Salle not just patron of teachers, but Father of Modern Education (and trade schools!)? Nope. I have St. Gabriel because I have a big fat mouth and I am totally aware of how I am in the position to escalate or de-escalate just about anything that can happen in a classroom. Don’t believe that? Let me introduce you to Antionette Tuff.

Here’s what it says:

Oh dear Gabriel, Help us to be diplomatic and watch over us, as you did with Christ; give us the strength to reason and the humility to listen.

I often forget that listening is more than taking in words — it’s also being present to the person saying them, and hearing the words that weren’t spoken.

Have a great school year all you teachers and students! God bless us all!

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