“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”

– Henry Ward Beecher

It’s been a tough school year. In September, I had to contend with returning from career break, picking up a 6th Year class (every teacher’s worst nightmare!!) and a major operation that took me out of school again for almost nine weeks, with all the resulting catching-up to do on my return (ongoing!).

I’ll be very glad to lock the door of my classroom after me later this week (when I’ve finished stripping the walls of their posters, dumping the interminable pile of now-yellowing newspapers and packing up the school books I’m sure I will need during the summer!!!), but despite all the difficulties, my overwhelming emotion right now is gratitude.

I’m so grateful to my wonderful colleagues for their friendship, support and collegiality this year. I’m thankful for my students, who teach me so much every day and who never fail to keep my feet on the ground. I’m lucky to have a job I love (even when I hate it!), and the opportunity to share my love of all things English language and literature-related with young minds who can appreciate its wonders. I’m looking forward (in a slightly masochistic way) to marking the Leaving Certificate, and wondering what challenges that process will throw up this year. And yes, I’ll be even more grateful if the poets that my students want come up on the exam!

Today, our school celebrated its tenth anniversary, and I was reminded of my first visit to the new building, almost ten years ago now, the excitement of having my own room (long-awaited!) and the sense of anticipation and trepidation as our former schools closed and we began our journey as a trinity.

I’m very grateful to have been part of this journey, and and I look forward to continuing it in September.

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