Saturday, August 23, 2008

So it begins, again.

Back to school has a whole new meaning when you become a teacher.

First, I'd like to say for the first time I have a job 2 consecutive years in a row, and I'm looking forward to it! If that's not God's work, I don't know what is.

I started back about a week and a half ago for countless (quite meaningless) meetings. I survived, because thankfully I work with a group of ladies that make those thrilling times more enjoyable. So, after a week of mtgs, setting up my new classroom, catching up with co-workers, and slightly preparing - we had a school-wide orientation for families to meet the teachers. I was stationed in my room while all day long parents and students came in to meet and greet. Then I remembered...I had conveniently forgotten over the summer about this tiny aspect of teaching...

...the parents...

Many quizzed me about how I was going to challenge their student and meet their expectations and what is this and what is that. Like I was at a job interview when I already have the job. I even had a couple get quite angry with me and threaten me.
So, a few reminders to myself as the year begins:

1. I can't take it personally.
2. I need to look confident and composed no matter what.
3. Be careful with my words, they can come back and haunt me later.
(Don't always say what I want, usually it's more beneficial to just nod and redirect)
4. For every hard parent there are 5 great ones, and I need to focus on the positive.
5. Though I aspire for it to be a team effort, I need to do the best with the circumstances I've been given.

I am reminded that I need to regrow that thick skin and quick on my toes attitude. Or actually, maybe I never had it, so maybe I should work on that. If only I could invent a rude comment/harsh words/attacker deflector. Maybe then I could retire early, after only my two consecutive years of work...:) Who am I kidding, I probably miss it too much.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back and ready

I'm back. After a long month (actually, I was so busy, it seemed to go by rather quickly thankfully), I have my life back! Yay! I'm ready for routine again and a full nights rest. I'm ready to be able to chose what I eat and when I eat it. I'm ready for my classroom of 3rd graders (I realized I'm not cut out to teach high schoolers). I'm ready to spend adequate time and energy on people I care about (here's my shout out Matt:)). I'm also ready to get some down time...which I've been utilizing my last few days of freedom before school starts back up.

I journal a lot, people process things different ways and this is how I do it. Another perk of it is going back and reading my past thoughts. Sometimes it's discouraging, because it doesn't appear that much has changed. Sure, life circumstances have frequently changed - the places I've lived, the roommates I've had, the jobs that have employed me, but has my heart? my way of thinking? the unique, internal challenges that I face? They seem to reoccur over and over again. Unfortunately, those things don't happen overnight on a whim, like a move to a new city. These changes can take years - possibly one's whole life. And I'm learning that the journey of life causes it to change faster or slower - for better or for worse. Thankfully, God allows and urges my heart on in His timing and His placement. And while I can try to control the outward circumstances all I want, it is only with God the inward can change. Makes it seem a little less lonely and little more possible.

I came across this quote I copied down back in 2004 - and not surprisingly, I still really like it, so I thought I'd share for those of you who are interested.

In my moments of fear,
Through every pain, every tear,
There's a God who's been faithful to me.
When my strength was all gone,
When my heart had no song,
Still in love He's proved faithful to me.
Every word He's promised is true;
What I thought was impossible, I see my God do.

He's been faithful, faithful to me,
Looking back, His love & mercy I see.
Though in my heart I have questioned,
Even failed to believe,
Yet He's been faithful, faithful to me.

When my heart looked away,
The many times I could not pray,
Still my God, He was faithful to me.
The days I spent so selfishly,
Reaching out for what pleased me;
Even then God was faithful to me.

Every time I come back to Him,
He is waiting with open arms,
And I see once again,
He's been faithful to me.
-from Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire