For the first time in seven years, I’ve decided to take a break from teaching

Six days a week, in all four seasons I’ve been in the arena teaching.  And I have loved (almost) every minute of it.  I felt like I had to teach in order to be fulfilled.

So when I came home from four days in Mexico, I was worried in that I didn’t have the urge, the need, the compulsion to teach.  I spent a few days in fear that I had reached burnout.  I rationalized that I had not taken more than a few days off in the last few years.  I told myself that I would get over this feeling.  I lost a lot of sleep and then struggled to get to the barn.  I reasoned that it was seasonal and that it’s hard to motivate yourself to teach in the cold and the mud.

But then it dawned on me.  For once,  I have teachers that I can trust with my students. I have never felt before like I could put my students in anyone else’s hands.  Maybe it’s narcissistic, most likely I’m a complete control freak. Don’t panic, I will still be in and around the arena. I’m not retiring. But I know that my role as Executive Director is to create sustainability for Square Pegs and that means doing the work that keeps the program running.

The main thing is that I am growing because I have finally found excellent people who understand and value what Square Pegs is all about.  I’m honestly finding joy in watching Greg and Sigourney blossom as mentors and teachers. I  love helping Terri and the student teachers like Farris and Max.  I’m learning from them how to value the students and to gracefully give people the space to learn.  I am so very excited to watch these talented young teachers share their love of horses with their students. They make me very proud to know them.

Goodness, did I just write “their students?”  I must be growing.  Square Pegs, is growing.

2009 is going to be a very exciting year.

2 Replies to “For the first time in seven years, I’ve decided to take a break from teaching”

  1. Joell, the work you have done with students has been wonderful, but the work to keep Square Pegs running is equally important. Take care of yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Plus, you are right, Greg and Sigourney are terrific teachers, with much to offer the students. The students are truly in good hands.

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