Thursday, September 2, 2021

September Spiritual Thursday

 Ah, September,

Will this month be a reprieve from the spiritual intensity of August? I hope so. Karen asks us to consider virtue this month. And, she's hosting this month's collection of posts. 

Like many of you, my present is all things back-to-school. Being in school even with the safety measure of a mask holds the kind of joy that made me a teacher. I love students that want to learn.

Students that are thirsty to know and grow are what get me out of bed and to work ready to teach every day. These students give me energy. And, often I learn more from them than I teach in a day.

I'm fortunate to have met many students ready to learn these past weeks. One of my favorite groups to work with is English Language Learners. Students who are learning English are categorized into levels where I teach. It's amazing to watch a student learn to communicate in English with peers socially and academically as they advance to new levels. I am fortunate to work in a place where I get to see a lot of this.

The library is a great place to practice English and find reading materials. Photo: Linda M.

Karen provided a list of virtues to consider for today's reflection. The pair of words that jumped out at me was cooperation and unity.

Two years ago, my school district changed the name of the school where I teach from the name of a Confederal General to Unity Braxton. Braxton is the last name of a husband and wife who served in the US Army for decades. As service members, they also became integrally involved in bettering our community. Mrs. Braxton helped integrate schools. Mr. Braxton served a long and distinguished military career. 

The Braxton's are now deceased. But, their legacy of service...cooperating with other members of their community for the betterment of all is a strong, clear message of what my school aims to be.

Unity was selected to show that we are one community. The high school that my middle school feeds into selected the name Unity as well. My students go from Unity Braxton to Unity Reed (another distinguished community member). 

The purposeful naming of our school caused some controversy. However, I think in a true spirit of cooperation and professionalism we've rolled up our sleeves, and are doing the work we are meant to do. I am grateful to be a part of the faculty at Unity Braxton. 

I realize that there is always room for improvement when it comes to cooperation. Students teach me this every day. 

Right now, I'm up at 5 am writing as I am most days. Coffee is brewing and I look forward to getting to school and working with students.


  1. It is so refreshing to read your positive attitude about your school and your school's name change. I love how the word "unity" is used in both schools. Names can serve to send messages, positive or negative. You "fly the flag" so to speak for unity.

  2. Thank you for your positive energy and enthusiasm, and the unity you share. Blessings.

  3. Linda, I like the path you took to write about virtue starting with your opening line. I love your enthusiasm for being in school with your students. It sounds like the passion many started their career with and that is so important in this present climate. I found the change of name for your school to be fascinating. Unity is a wonderful word to connect with community service. Lastly, I want to comment on your photo. It speaks volumes of the cooperation and unity connecting students with adults in a small group learning experience.

  4. Linda, beautiful post about cooperation and unity. What a treasure that your school's name was changed. I love Unity as part of the school's moniker, and the Braxtons do sound like a couple to emulate. Have a great year! I'm glad you are getting up early and writing!

  5. Linda, I love how you embrace challenge, especially on behalf of the English Language Learners. At the elementary level, some teachers get alarmed and fear that they "aren't enough" for them. My son, who taught high school for a few years, says he doesn't understand this panic; by the time these students got to him, their language and academic performance were fine. One's mindset makes all the difference. Unity Braxton has a magnificent ring to it! How perfectly it fits with the theme of "virtue"! Also glad to hear of Hamish's poetic ventures :)

  6. I love this! Thank you for sharing about your school and some details of your day!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!