So, last week I experienced breakdown number one.
Before I came down here, I thought I was alright – you know? I was confident in myself and my abilities and the way that God made me. Hm. God has a funny way of reminding us that no matter how He has gifted us, He’s still in charge.
Last week, standing in front of my class of 10th graders I literally felt powerless. College conversations flashed through my mind where my friends in the Ed. department spoke of rubrics and management and lesson plans. And as my vision blurred when I spoke the words, “Seriously, for the last time I need your attention up here,” I wondered at my calling to this place. I finally sat down in the front of the class, with 10 minutes left, and just stopped teaching. A few students noticed my frustration, but at the end of the day I was more frustrated with myself than the students or the situation.
“Why don’t I have the tools to make this work?”
“How come I didn’t take a few of those education courses?”
“Why does it seem like I’m doing the very thing that I can’t do, that I’m not good at?”
These are a few of the questions I picked through. The strange thing is, last Wednesday (two days before my breakdown), I joined my co-worker to pray through the school. As I prayed through the halls, I kept saying, “It’s about souls.” Because it’s so easy to think that my post here is about my growth or about the students learning or about creating new guidance systems or (insert another). But, then the Lord showed me as I prayed more that even thinking it’s about souls is a detour from life true purpose. It’s about the LORD.
It’s about the LORD.
“The chief end of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever.”
-Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 1
I walked away Wednesday night with wet cheeks and a humble heart. And then Thursday and Friday happened.
Last week now seems miles away, but over the weekend I was reminded that the battle for our effectiveness is waged in our weaknesses. Satan tries here to get a foothold while the Lord offers to be Strength. And my weakness is where I am least comfortable.
And so it is with growing pains. Well, I hope it’s growing I’m doing.
One thought on “Growing Pains”
Ah yes, classroom management. Don’t worry, honey- they really don’t teach this in college either. I remember pounding the piano keyboard in frustration with the 6th grade class my first year. They simply would not be quiet. So I made a louder noise than they did. It only worked the first time. After several years of trial and error, I learned that yelling never works, and that sometimes speaking very softly does. I also learned that consequences applied swiftly and surely to EVERY offender earn respect and, eventually, cooperation. And if you apply those consequences swiftly and surely enough, you will save yourself from getting angry, which is rarely useful. I learned that relationship building occurs outside of the classroom, not in it. I learned to learn from other teachers’ mistakes, and to emulate the ones I respected. Be patient with yourself. You are a rookie. You can’t learn it all in the first semester. I love you.