Am I sad I have to go back to work?
I am a little sad. I've enjoyed my time off [well minus the surgery part] and I feel fully rested for the first time in a long time. I would love to be able to say I taught myself to crochet [I struggled with the slipknot], read 25 books, or organized my house [let's not get crazy now...I've never been accused of organizing anything]. But I didn't do any of that. I just enjoyed my family, [my couch], my comfortable clothes, and the time off.
You know what makes me really sad?
Having to wear REAL clothes, do my hair, and put on make-up!! [I am sorry if you've been
And loved EVERY MINUTE.
But tomorrow reality comes sweeping back in and I hit the door running. [Well, not exactly. We do have a three hour delay. Not too shabby for a Friday.]
One thing I have done while I've been home is really think about my job.
And a lot of soul searching on what I need to do better.
The list is long my friends. Long indeed.
Not going to lie, the last two years in the classroom hasn't exactly been a walk in the park for me. [Not unless that walk included fire breathing dragons, dog poop, meteors falling from the sky, huge rocks, toe stubs, too many Swiss cake rolls, and attempts to run far away.]
Instead of setting the tone I let the tone set me.
I let circumstances and "things" dictate how I felt.
I wanted to give up and walk away.
But as always, God allowed me the opportunity to rest [via the evil little gall bladder], some time to refocus, and He helped me remember why being a teacher is what I was meant to do.
After all, these people that forget their pencils [so they write in Sharpies on the front and back of an assignment], leave their library books [over and over and over again] in my room, fail to put their name on papers, play tag on the way to lunch, ask to go to the bathroom in the middle of class, and cannot wait until the bell at 3 [not to leave but to get to their cell phones] are still just kids.
Ultimately, I believe that ALL of them want...
to be successful.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes, as a teacher, I get caught up in what they aren't doing and I lose focus on what needs to be done. [Just a side note, middle schoolers are waiting, with dripping fangs and cat-like reflexes for you to lose focus. They thrive on it. You've been warned.] Every little issue doesn't have to be monumental and I've made many a mountain out of a mole hill. I wear my heart on my sleeve, which isn't a bad thing, but sometimes I tend to worry more about how I feel.
I have been burdened over the last few weeks to make some changes in my classroom...mainly me. [I am listening to my Hillsong station on Pandora right now and the song Thank You Jesus just came on. Well, played God, well played. Thank you Jesus...you set me free. Christ my Savior...you rescued me. Wow.]
As teachers we have the unique [and awesome] opportunity to make such a difference in the lives of children. [Now understand me...I do NOT do cliché, mushy, when-you-get-the-chance-dance kind of stuff but it is true about making a difference.] I should be seeking opportunities. In fact, the way I see it, everyone who works in a school building has opportunities to make a difference.
I am certainly not suggesting that this is easy. Never has been. Kids come to us every day from broken homes, with broken hearts, with brokenness that some of us will never experience. I can't begin to even begin to know what it is like to live a life that isn't privileged.
What I do know that for me, that means I must do my job up to Colossians 3:23 standards:
WHATEVER you do [like teach], work [love, care, commit, be bold, with reckless abandon] at it with ALL your heart [even when the going gets tough, the sharks are biting, and the water is forehead high], as if working for the Lord and not for men.
Often, I can't change the circumstances outside of school that affect my students. What I can do is make dang sure that the experiences they have in my classroom, EVERY SINGLE DAY, are extraordinary. [No, I'm not trying to be Super Teacher. Or be the most liked or any of that jazz.] If I'm giving them less than the best of me then I'm not doing my job. Seriously.
I'm not looking for fame or fortune. I'm not looking for perfect test scores and data to tell me I'm doing this teaching thing right. I'm not looking for anyone's approval.
Tonight, in a conversation with Coop, Craig said something that hit me like a ton of bricks [again, well played God]:
It is simple. When it comes to others, we should be about washing feet.
Right. On. Time.