The Answer September 10, 2011
Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher- and a math teacher, at that! I think that I have to know the answer and that there is only one. If I can only think through the situation logically, I can make sense of it. Just give me all the information about the problem and I’ll find a way to solve it. I’ll plug it into a formula or into my calculator and come up with the answer. I just need to figure out what I need to do, and then I’ll do it. It’s that simple-
…or is it? My students would certainly agree with me that sometimes numbers can be messy… but I’m coming to realize more fully that they are not nearly as messy and complicated as our lives. When our foundations crumble, we want answers. We need answers! Now that I’m back at school, I’m seeing this truth played out in students’ lives. The rubble of their broken lives clutters the floor of my classroom and I’m left standing there with the disheartening realization that I am not an architect. I cannot draft the design to rebuild their lives. And even if I could, I wouldn’t have the skills or tools to build it! I have nothing to offer them…
…with one exception- I can offer them Jesus. And He is everything they need. All I can offer is the truth of what He has done in my life and the promise that He desires all people to come to Him in repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He cares about them more than I ever could and He showed them his great love by giving his life!
So, I will carry you to Jesus, because He is the answer!
Like riding a bike September 4, 2011
You know how people say- “it’s like riding a bike,” implying that you never forget how to do whatever activity they’re referring to. Well, I can’t think of a better analogy for teaching. Most of you know that my first semester of my first year was very rough (those were my training wheel days with a few nasty falls thrown in there). Then, second semester things started to get a bit better (those were the parent, or in thise case fellow teacher(s), running next to your bike helping you ride by yourself days). Now I can ride by myself, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have a “big girl” bike yet… probably more like one of those with streamers flowing off the handlebars in the wind. And even though I can ride a bike pretty well now, there’s plenty more biking adventures I can try: mountain biking, racing, riding with no hands, etc.
These first 4 days of school really couldn’t have gone better! Praise God! 🙂 Sure they weren’t perfect, but I’m so thankful for God’s guidance and that he chooses to work through me no matter what. Here are a few highlights and lowlights (in more ways than one!) from the first week:
* On Monday (teacher meetings and work day), I had no power in my room. No lights, many non-functional electric outlets and no AC (or even blowing air!). But, I didn’t even have a computer in my room so did it really matter if the outlets worked??
* Tuesday morning (first day with students), I was plesantly surprised to walk into a fully lit room with a working AC (my students wouldn’t let me forget it- pretty much non-stop complaining about how cold it was! haha!)… still no computer, but I’ll take what I can get!
* At the end of the first day, one of the teachers down the hall asked in an astonished tone- “Did you kick a kid out on the first day?!” Apparently he had seen Tony out in the hall during 6th period. I told the teacher that Tony had kind of kicked himself out. What happened was Tony (who I had last year) thought he could get away with being chatty since he knows me. While students were working on their “About Me” WS, he continued to talk, so I told him he could move to a different seat or go out in the hallway. In a melodramatic huff, he said- “I’m going out to the hallway!” And I just said- “ok.” So, I guess I kicked a kid out on the first day…
* On Wednesday morning, I was again plesantly surprised. This time there was computer on my desk… apparently they found one of about 3 working outlets and it was all ready to go!
* On Thursday, students worked on a group work intro activity. One of the questions was “What is one thing everyone in your group can agree on about math?” A group of junior guys wrote- “It sucks!” (guess that’s what I get for telling them to be honest!) When I asked if there was anything else… they apparently decided to add something else. After the class turned in their papers and left, I glanced at that group’s sheet. Next to “it sucks!” they had added “but we love the teacher <3”. (suck ups!)
* On Friday, we had an assembly outside. The Navy band was there and performed for us… but this wasn’t your patriotic brass band that I envisioned. No, no… they played Lady Gaga and Katy Perry while some men who weren’t performing launched small football stress balls into the bleachers. Then several parachuters landed on the football field not more than about 40 feet away from me! It was pretty fun and since I didn’t see some of my classes and don’t want to get off pace, the rest of my classes just got to color a geometric tile pattern involving grid paper and reflections. They did really well and seemed to enjoy the activity. One student even asked if they could do something like that every Friday… haha- nice try on his part.
Well, the adventures continue on Tuesday (thanks to the 3-day weekend!) :)… you can be sure that there will be more to come!