Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tomorrow Begins My Eighth Year of Teaching

Tomorrow begins my eighth year of teaching which is just crazy.  It passed so fast but at the same time I can't believe I made it so long. It's estimated that "a third of all new teachers leave after three years and 46 percent are gone within five years".  Sometimes I honestly can't believe I'm still here.

I know for a fact it's the Lord that brought me to Korea and brought me this far.  Nothing in my own strength or smarts or will brought me here, but His alone, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  Work sometimes gets me down because I feel like I don't have time to be "me" amidst all the business, or even find out who "me" is. Sometimes the kids drive me crazy.  Sometimes I don't even know why I'm teaching what I'm teaching...but at the beginning of the school year it's as if the slate is wiped clean.

Just as when I was a kid, new supplies, clothes, teachers, and classes were exciting.  This year I feel it more than maybe ever.  I don't feel the pressure I've felt in the past...because I've done it all before. Every thing seems easier.  We start class tomorrow and I'm not nervous at all.  (Not yet at least)

 This year I made new signs for my class, which I haven't changed in five years...just because I felt something was "different".  I just want this year to be different.  I want it to be fresh.  I want to love what I do.

I am also anxious about this year because I am teaching a new class--eighth grade technology.  Hrmm...there is no curriculum and I'm told I can do whatever I want--which is my kinda my style--but at the same time terrifying.  I am also scared of cross country because I am fantastically out of shape and the kids have been running all summer--there's no way I can keep up.  And it is soooooo hot and humid here.

Probably the most exciting thing about this year is my man's new job.  God dumped it on our plates at the end of the school year last year and it was the last thing we expected but the perfect opportunity for my man.  He's now the middle school chaplin and in charge of the Spiritual Life Department for almost 200 6-8th graders.  An overwhelming task to be sure.  He is perfect for the job.  But that does not mean anxiety does not seep in.  Sometimes I think I am more nervous than him!  The other day he gave a talk to our middle school staff about some of the programs we hold, and he knocked it out of the park.  Everyone responded so well and are so thankful to have him in this position. He is going to be great with the kids and I am so excited to see what the Lord will do through him and in him.  I am so proud of him.

I think my theme verse for this year will come from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
" Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Our pastor at church today gave a sermon on "The Power Of Love" and talked about this verse.  Jesus is perfect love and does all these things perfectly.  Oh how I wish I could!  But I can't!  So far from it...How though, do I do BETTER?  By knowing God better.  By trusting Jesus and allowing Him to work through me.

So when those days get long and the kids are driving me crazy and standards based assessment is making me cross-eyed and I have no idea what to do in Technology class, God will allow me to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

This year our school's theme verse comes from Galatians 5:6-"Faith Expressing Itself Through Love".  Oh that I could be that.  Consistently loving towards my students, coworkers, Koreans, and husband.  That they would know Jesus more through me.

The only way is to give it all to Him and allow His grace and mercy to overflow...I'm praying this will be my best year yet!!!!

The photos below are from my classroom after I put it together.  Some turned out horribly due to poor lighting + bad lens but oh well, thought you guys (waaaiiitt...does anyone read this??) might want to see where we live/work.

PS Please take a look at the beautiful succulents while they're still alive.

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