By now, all of us have been thrust into the exciting unknown that is ASC. We’ve endured long nights of lesson planning and grading tests. We’ve done our best to map our way around hallways. We’ve even faced the daunting question at Back-to-School Night from parents: “So, do you have any qualifications to teach?” All of these challenges, it seems, have become easier in these few weeks as we have found the thrill of an insightful answer from a student in class, or a true moment of friendship with a community member in our downtime. And, whether positive or negative, all of these moments have helped us learn along the way.
For me, my time at De Smet Jesuit as an ASC has been a true blessing. Each day has been filled with a real sense of worth, with a meaningful conversation, and with an incredible feeling of gratitude: I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here. Of course, there are challenging times as well. With giving of oneself comes exhaustion. With diving in comes uncertainty and doubt. These I experience regularly, too. But the times that I have felt overwhelmed have also served as a reminder that every moment has the opportunity to be meaningful, that I have the power to make the most of my experiences during ASC.
This lesson comes often with teaching. There have been times when I’ve been blown away by the amount of insight that a freshman in high school can bring to a class conversation. And still for every wonderful class that I walk out of feeling like I’ve changed the world in those 45 minutes, I know there will be just as many that will leave me wondering, “Well, where did that go wrong?” I’ve already had those moments. But that I think is the beauty of meeting the students where they’re at—for as confident as I am in their ability to grow academically and as people, I recognize that they are just getting started growing into themselves. My goal is not their end-result, but I have a hand in their process of development, and this makes each moment incredibly meaningful… Even if each step comes at different paces.
Although the days keep moving more quickly, I have felt God’s presence alive in the De Smet and ASC communities pushing me outside of myself, calling me to stay intentional with my time. And in the moments when I know I can lean on and learn from the people in my communities, I begin to feel where God’s hand is busy in my own life, eagerly helping me write the pages of this new story.