Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweet Encouragement

A teacher's life is pulled in many directions, and the truth is, teaching can consume one's entire existence if s/he isn't careful (to wit, read Rafe Esquith's Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire). 
More than twenty years after starting, I still struggle with balance and time. There is no time to visit friends AND stay fit AND grade it all conscientiously AND design mind-stretching lessons AND stay current in research AND read for pleasure AND get flu shots AND refinance. I have to pick and choose, and so friends, research, flu shots, the gym, and refinancing get short shrift. (Which is a Shakespearean phrase, which I know because reading for pleasure always makes my time cut.) 

This past Monday, I was staring up a steep hill--forgetting to get personal snacks for myself, and teaching four classes in a row and then immediately going to the auditorium to help supervise our Bible Club's dodgeball event (I am the guarder of the food while players play--they grab bites between games), and then immediately going to my classroom to have the class participate in the mock election, and then immediately returning to the auditorium to clean up. All these "immediatelys" meant that lunch wasn't going to happen until 2:30. It also meant that the beginning of my week was going to require more energy than last week put together. 

And then the blessings came. First period, O. opened a container and told me she was giving me cupcake shoes--"I made some to test for my salon project and thought you'd like a pair."  I was so overjoyed! Something to munch on to keep me from low blood sugar. And then period 4, K. brings me (for no reason) a bag of Dove dark chocolates. My God takes care of me! To top it off, at lunch my colleague brought me some cookies. 

As my blood sugar spiked, I reflected that one of the amazing things about what I do is that I get so much back. I don't mean sweet treats, although Monday was sweeter than most. The Lord always reminds me that He is cheering me on so I can love the kids for Him.

Today was hard for a number of reasons. It is my beloved principal's last day at our school and we began the day with our last staff meeting with her. Many were in tears as the bell rang for period one. I am heavy-hearted. So imagine the lift when a former (over 30!) wrote this on my Mug Book page:

"Please keep doing what you are doing. You will never understand how you have touched our lives. You made it 'cool' for students to strive to become teachers one day. You taught young girls grace and self respect. You taught young boys how to respect those princesses. I don't know if you realize how powerful that is? Thank you" 

I didn't cry at the staff meeting, but I bawled as I read this. God took care of my blood sugar on Monday, and my heartache today.


  1. Just wanted to say this was a good read and I am glad things picked up for you. I hope you keep going strong, and the hard days get fewer.

  2. Thanks--there are usually life rings tossed our way, no? Hope your hard days are fewer, too.