>Grin and Bear It

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It has finally come.  Glancing over at the alarm going off in our bedroom to signify that it was time for Rich to get up, I rolled over with deep indignation.  In less than a week, I will be waking an hour earlier than him.  Walking zombie-like into the kitchen to make the coffee.  Turning on the hot water, then the cold water.  Dancing around in the bathroom waiting for the water to regulate.  Sleepily making a lunch that always seems to be missing something-like, the sandwich- and joining the rest of the working world in the that blasted line for the parkway.  

At precisely 7:35 I will be staring at the inside of my classroom instead of the inside of my eyelids.  For those of you who scoff at the notion of a teacher complaining after she has gotten nearly three months off, let me explain something to you.  I was unable to unclench my fists or my jaw until mid-July from school stress.  I finally began sleeping through the night toward the end of the second week of August.  And then, in the third week I was back to organizing, preparing, studying and stressing over going back to school.  Total vacation hours? TWO WEEKS.  Woe is the life of a teacher.
I have applied to more jobs that I could count over the summer.  Jobs with the allure of only working 6-8 hours a day and leaving the work THERE before coming home.  A job where what I do would be appreciated and respected by functioning adults.  A job where I would look forward to going …where I would feel called to be…where I could utilize my skills and talents…where I wouldn’t have to be concerned if that student I failed would be waiting for me by my car…or outside of my door…with a weapon…or a chair…or worse…a parent.  Where I could drink a cup of coffee, for goodness sake and wear open-toed shoes.
Alas, here I am, public school teacher. Again.  
So, rather that let this simple fact overshadow my life this year (those of you who know me understand that last year I’m pretty sure “myself” disappeared into a bundle of self-deprecating, second-guessing, stressing, sleepless, panic-attacking mess) I have already decided to approach this school year with a new vision and manner in mind-and am pleading your help in this mountainous endeavor.
Fact: I would rather not be teaching.
Fact: Regardless of how I feel about it, I WILL be teaching.
And sooooo, I am determined to grin and bear it, so they say.  Make the best of it.  But am praying for even more than that.  I’m not sure why God wants me in the classroom, but it’s apparent that he does.  So, with that knowledge, I will do my best to wake with a smile, leave my stressing at the door, approach the day with something I love in mind.  I will plan things to look forward to every month…every weekend…everyday-that’s where you come in, if you choose. Dinner with a friend, a movie, a new book, a weekend away. I will thank God daily for the job that I have that provides the support our family needs and a fresh supply of spit-balls in my purse.  
At work, instead of being a grammar pusher, a paragraph stickler or a homework nazi it will be my main daily goal to make my students laugh.  To teach them that being who they are is awesome enough-they don’t need to be anything else.  To revel in their differences instead of beating each other up over them. To encourage them that the world stretches outside of their city boundaries, to read the newspaper, explore their own thoughts and ideas instead of spewing out everyone else’s without even thinking about it, to communicate effectively(preferably without the F-word) and be normal, civilized human beings who will (hopefully) be able to write and read.  Doesn’t sound like a tall order, I’m sure, but you haven’t witnessed a classroom full of thirty hungry, bored, tired and hot seventeen year olds who amuse themselves by seeing who could hit me first with a paper airplane.  Yes, they still make those.
I, of course, will document my progress on both the attitude adjustment and the paper airplane problem.  Like I’ve said in previous posts, I am attempting this thing of not letting circumstances decide my future- or take my joy.  So, if there’s anyone interested in a hay ride and a pumpkin picking excursion, my September fun-day slot is open! 
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3 thoughts on “>Grin and Bear It

  1. >May I encourage you my sweet wonderful daughter? Besides letting you know how incredible, beautiful and talented I think you are and how EVERY DAY I thank the Lord above that you married my son – I have a word for you from the Lord. I have just been praying for you for the past weeks, knowing how you feel about your job.Listen to what Paul says in the message about his “limitations” in 2 Corinthians 12:…I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that and then he told me:”My grace is enough; it’s all you need.My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on my handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size- abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks (abusive 17 year olds!) – I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker, I get, the stronger I become! St. Paul in 2 CorinthiansI didn’t mean to blog back as it were, but I have endured when I did not think there was an ounce of endurance left in me. And it has been because of the hardest times that I have grown the closest to Christ! Look at those students with the eyes of Christ – ask him to show you why HE loves each one of them (He may not know J/K). Hard to imagine, but each one of them was made in His image and likeness – and they need to know that. I think God sent you there to show them, not necessarily to have them appreciate British lit!! I will continue to pray that you will see Christ in each of them, and that daily more of him is evident in you for those kids. “Pappa” would never leave you nor forsake you – even in the midst of a public school.I love you JennyK

  2. >Hey Jen, in New Hampshire this summer, I found a book about paper airplanes! You can make your own cool fleet and take the air battle back to them! Show ’em how to win without the “F” word.

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