Return to Faith


By Kay Flewelling, High Tech High Chula Vista
Original Post on July 18, 2013

This week, Jamie and I have commuted to LEAP 4 (Mon-Wed) and LEAP 3 (today) and have worked alongside the teachers from both schools. It is such a short amount of time, and I question (and worry) what good is it that I am here?

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There have been moments where there was no question — the moments when I see a student that I met and loved, and they run up to me and hug me. It doesn’t even matter if we don’t know one another’s names. We remember each other, and I am reminded of the strength of love, and relationship.

The moments when I am deep in conversation about the direction of education, about the balance between honoring tests, and honoring our students. The moments when I see teachers laughing, talking to one another, sharing ideas which resonate deeply because they came from the heart. No, in those moments, I don’t wonder why I am here. It seems to be an obvious thing, that I should be here, something that does not require any further explanation.

Education is such tricky business. The stuff of relationships, of communication, of love, and learning — it has such a terribly ineffable quality, and while we may try to measure, some things will remain forever baffling, and maybe that is OK.

This morning, I woke up with deep sadness. Actually, last night, I went to sleep with it, and all night I had fitful dreams, so I woke up feeling like I had missed my chance to become a genuine singer-songwriter because I had forgotten all the words to the song I selected to sing (not an analogy — that really happened… in my imagination). In an effort to shake the sadness, I started reading blogs that held inspiration, or whatever. It was mostly ineffectual at the time, but now I am reminded of a quotation by G.K. Chesterton that I stumbled across on

“The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand.”

And so I concentrate on the integrity of my own attitude as I carry about each day. Even in sadness, I can move forward today, relax into whatever emotion I am having, and just avail myself to what is. This morning, Patrick asked me if I had gotten what I had wanted to get out of coming here again.

I thought, why did I come here? And I came up with two reasons, and then three, then four, then five. And I have already gotten all of them.

They are:

  1. healing
  2. appreciating
  3. loving/reconnecting ties
  4. taking distance from Patrick while he focuses on LF
  5. availing myself to serve where I am able

I leave next Wednesday. The time I spent here was so short. It is enough time? No, living is never enough time. Everything here is inflated with importance because that is how we are alive, as well. But it is the time we have.I cannot say it was enough, but I equally cannot say it wasn’t.

Today I cherished opportunities to hear the LEAP 3 Future Leaders discuss the impact of last week’s summit. They came away energized, and activated. Afterwards, we met with eight teachers from LEAP 3 and worked through project ideas. I left so impressed with the relevance of the projects they designed. Their projects were about the challenges the students face, from HIV/AIDS to Tuberculosis to oppression. I am curious about how I can return to my own school with projects that come from the heart, and resonate deeply with my students and their communities.

So I arrive back to the beginning, where the main focus is to have faith, that something is happening much bigger than what we could hope, or imagine, whether we can see it or not.

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