Hello ladies and gents,
I want to begin this writing by making something clear: There is nothing wrong with you if you are struggling with your Ever Trusting journey. After all, life is a journey. It’s filled with the good, the bad, and the ugly. We remember to stand strong and trust God to bring us through when we face certain challenges and other times…Let’s just say short-term amnesia. Sometimes we are passing out words of encouragement and inspiration to others and sometimes we are the ones in desperate need ourselves. It’s part of the human experience. It’s okay.
For the past 3 weeks, being Ever Trusting has been DIFFICULT for me. I’ve been floating between anger and sadness. I’ve even shed some tears.
So, what’s the deal?
If you read my Who AM I ? section, then you already know I’m a teacher. I teach English. Well, September 2015 , I stepped out on faith and left one school district for another. Joining a new district put me back in 12th grade English, which is where my heart is. There is just something about teaching on the level right before my children go out into the world as adults.
Getting used to a new district and curriculum was challenging in the beginning. That’s to be expected. However, I made it through and my kids and I had a wonderful school year.
As a member of the 12th grade English team, we were excited for the 2016-2017 school year. We had plans. We kept note of what worked and didn’t work. We discussed the changes we wanted make, like making Shakespeare’s Hamlet more exciting. I love Hamlet. My kids, not-so-much. They told me they never wanted to hear the word Hamlet ever again.
On top of that, we were allowed to store our things in our rooms. So, I reorganized everything. I organized all of the copies for each unit into folders, labeled them, and filed them in my cabinet. I created a binder with my curriculum plan and all of the materials for each unit. I was also working on a new management system better suited for 12th graders as well as revising all of my lesson plans and Power Point Presentations. Cue my Rocky music please. I was set.
Then it happened…
2 days before the end of the school year, I was called into the principal’s office and told I was being transferred to a 9th grade English position in a different building.
So, here’s the deal. The other building needs an English teacher because the previous one retired the Friday before this meeting. The union just renegotiated a new contract and the Superintendent wants to save money. It is more cost effective to move people than open the spot to outside candidates.
Last one hired means the first one to be moved.
I was so hurt people. I had plans and they were ruined. I created my perfect (until my new students arrive anyway) little city and Godzilla came through and smashed everything to pieces.
For 3 weeks I’ve been hearing the staff and administration at the other building are awesome, but the kids… People keep telling me horror stories about the kids in the building which hasn’t made me feel any better.
And…another new curriculum after I just learned the other one. No, actually I heard that they don’t follow the 9th grade part of the English curriculum for the district. So, what does that even mean? Is there a different curriculum? Do we all teach something different? Are we all doing our own thing? The teachers in my previous building feel like the incoming 10th graders are missing certain skills because of this lapse in curriculum. So guess what? Who’s going to be expected to make sure that doesn’t happen? ME!!!
These 3 weeks have felt like a nightmare. There are so many unknowns. Every time I try to get excited, someone brings me another negative little detail about the move. I feel like Evaline from The Wiz singing “Don’t nobody bring me no more bad news!” And, I’m tired of telling people I didn’t make this decision. Many of my colleagues thought I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to leave. I still don’t want to leave.
Summer school has started. I’m teaching 9th grade English in my old building (9-12 is housed in one building for the summer). My kids are alright with me. I enjoy being around them and even though they are in my class because they failed, we are working and thriving. They keep me laughing. I get sleepy when the room is too quiet anyway.
By the end of my 3 weeks of moping, I remembered…
1.There is a silver lining in every situation, I just have to look for it.
I dislike change and changing districts was difficult for me. But, I moved forward in faith. I didn’t focus on the challenges, obstacles, and learning curve that awaited me. I was no longer happy in my former district and wanted out. The desire to leave outweighed the fear of the unknown. I didn’t know what awaited me on the other side, but I jumped anyway and I have no regrets.
I was not prepared for another big change so soon. I focused so much energy on this change and the fact that I love 12th grade English that I became blinded to anything good that could come of the move. I listened to the negative voices because they agreed with my feelings. They confirmed my disappointment. Instead of starving fear and doubt, I continuously fed it. If someone asked about the move, it provided me with another opportunity to express my discontent. I wore it like a garment that couldn’t be removed.
Thank God, I finally got a grip. When delivering the mighty blow that rocked my world, my principal said something to me that at the time I didn’t understand. I dismissed it out of anger. The meaning of his words became clear about a week into teaching 9th grade English in summer school. Working with my summer school kids gave me a new perspective in which to view this situation. My students helped me look for and find my silver lining. Yes, I’m starting from scratch again. But, I survived the 2015-2016 school year and had an awesome time. I’m expecting the same result for the 2016-2017 school year. I’m in the process of collecting my materials.
2.I am not alone. God is with me every step that I take. I trust HIM.
I’m not going to lie, when all of this went down, I was confused about what God was doing. I wasn’t sure if this was a trick of the enemy or if God orchestrated this move for HIS purpose. Truthfully, I’m still not sure. But, I do know Deuteronomy 31:6. HIS word says that HE will be with me everywhere I go. In other words, I’m not alone. In my blindness, I totally forgot that God always has my back. HE was with me when I switched districts and learned to navigate the waters of such a move and HE is still with me as I embark on this new journey.
Phillipians 4:13 tells me that I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. HE doesn’t say I can do some things. HE says I can do all things. All means “nothing missing.” All means that there is not one thing that he won’t strengthen me to do. I can rest in the promise that HE is behind the scenes helping me to accomplish anything that I am called to do. D
There are going to be many times in our lives when being Ever Trusting is going to be difficult. We must keep going and keep fighting to remember that we are never alone on our journeys. We may not always understand what God is doing and why things happen the way that they do, but if we continue to trust and have faith in HIM, everything will be alright.
After 3 weeks of being a big cry baby, I realized it was all for nothing. I work hard to make a difference in the lives of my kids regardless of their grade level. My summer school babies were my reminder. As long as God’s got me, I got this.
Peace and Blessings,