I had a pretty rough week (until about Thursday!). I was exhausted and allowed Satan to scream lies into my ears... that I then allowed to infiltrate my thoughts and my heart. It's very easy to do, isn't it? I know that for me, I'm so caught up in myself (trying so hard to get everyone to like me, agree with me, think that I am doing a great job), that I allow words of people and perceived thoughts drag me down. I am codependent on others. I allow what they say or think (or what I think they think) to rule my life. I'm sure that I will do this (to an extent) until I go Home. But, my hope is that through the course of these next two weeks, through time with Him, through reading of an amazing book (that I wrote about here), and through some rest time with my love, those lies will continue to fade away. This has been a battle that I have fought for YEARS (well, my whole life really!), but I feel like I'm on my way to having more peace through Jesus alone.
This semester has been wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. The charter school organization that I work for has very high expectations for their teachers (which is good for the students!), but they do give the support and education for the teachers to meet those expectations. Me and my perfectionism (really it's pride) has made this semester tough because I have wanted to meet those expectations 100%, even though I'll never really get there (I would love to get close!)... an honestly, my family life has suffered. BUT, I'm thankful now that I put that time in because I got an email yesterday that changed everything: I will be allowed to submit abbreviated lesson plans starting in January! So because of working hard for one semester, it'll make everything much easier now. The thing is, I really didn't have to write out every detail because I taught better when I didn't follow them to a "T." And, it'll take maybe 30 minutes to an hour to write lessons now instead of HOURS. And I will have more time to adequately do the prep work for the lessons instead of focusing on getting them written and struggle through the week to get things prepared (I always got things prepared, but many things were last minute!). I just feel a huge weight lifted and I believe that I will be a much better teacher this coming semester. I have learned SO much about teaching... more this year than ever before, really. And I think now I will be able to put those things into place much better than ever before. I really want to be an excellent teacher, not for myself, but for my students. I love them and want the best for them. I want them to become independent, self motivated learners who feel empowered! I want them to feel confident in their ability to learn! I think they are on their way. There are some students that really struggled with certain things and I have seen great improvement. They are the reason why I do this job... they are the reason why I care to do things 100%. Despite some of the daily struggles (which seem bigger some days than others), I am very thankful for this job. It is exactly what I envisioned myself doing. Some days I feel like it is just. too. hard. But others I know that without those really hard times, I wouldn't grow as a person or as a teacher... and really many of those hard things are that I allow Satan to scream lies into my ear... And I know that as long as I scream truth back at him, he won't scream forever :).
Robert always reminds me (when I feel like I can't do this) that when I taught part time I had the same struggles because I just want everything to be perfect... So I would spend hours looking for new ideas, writing lessons, prepping, etc in order to make everything come out perfectly. So, honestly, I don't think it would help to teach part time because I would still be spending lots of time stressing and focusing on perfection. I think if I actually stay in the same place for more than a year, that it will get easier over time (of course, there's always a chance that they won't invite me back, but I'm just going to plan on them inviting me back so that I will invest myself there!). Ultimately I will be right where God wants me because He has a place for me. And no matter what, I have learned so much this year and am so thankful for that opportunity! I know that I have SO much more to learn... but I am excited about putting more of the new things in place. Now that I have the curriculum down, I think I will be able to add more creativity to it!
2010 has been pretty rough... Joey died at the end of 2009, we moved 3 weeks after he died to a different house at camp, I had a new baby in February (the 3rd in 4 years), I went through postpartum depression, moved to a new city in June, I started a new job (full time for the first time in years!) in August, and we live with my in-laws :). But I sense that 2011 will be a refreshing year for my family. I feel that God has big plans to continue using us for His glory, we will be able to move into our own place, and things will just start to settle more. Of course, one thing that I have learned is that ultimately God is in control and things change all the time (He is our only constant), so I'm open to whatever God calls us to!