I'm so glad to have the first couple of weeks of school "under my belt". They are some of the toughest ones for me. You have to work your way around that delicate balance of building relationships, showing your students you'll treat them with respect, teaching procedures and routines, and showing them that, yes, you actually mean what you say.
The first of school is always difficult for me. I think it's mainly because I've just been off for ten weeks and getting back into such a strict routine often gives me whiplash. It's also because I love my job because I love teaching. Not much of this occurs during those first few weeks.
I was prepared for tears. It happens every year the last and first weeks of school. I was not, however, prepared for the emotional state I found myself in this time.
We started school on a Monday. It went fine. Students were great. I kept telling myself the uneasiness and trepidation were normal. Nothing to be worried about. I kept fighting. Tuesday morning, I got up for my quiet time, but all I could do was cry. I just couldn't get on top of it. After 30 minutes, I finally texted a dear friend and asked her to pray. I went to school and had a good day, but came home and cried much of the evening as well. It was more than I could handle on my own. I called my mom and asked her to come over and pray with me.
After talking it out with her, I realized I was plagued with fear. Fear that I couldn't do this job anymore. Fear that I would hate it. Fear that it would be another year like the past two. I just didn't have it in me for another one. They took more out of me than I'd realized.
Mom was sweet. The Holy Spirit gave her wisdom and she said everything HE knew I needed to hear. She assured me, listened to me, encouraged me, and prayed with me. It was a turning point.
I have a great class! (Not without their challenges, but a great class none-the-less.) Things are really off to a great start all the way around. I know I have briefly blogged about a challenging situation with a coworker. God is really taking care of that situation. While the situation may not be much different, my heart is. I'm so thankful for that!
Lessons I've learned from these past few years:
1. The only person I need to please is Jesus!
2. Gossip happens. I can't do anything to change that. Trying will only drive my crazy.
3. Which brings me to the next one, you can't get ahead of a crazy person.
4. I am 1 person in the classroom. I can only do my best. Sometimes that just means loving that student.
5. And, love will make a difference.
6. If it can't get done in a 50 minute plan period, it can wait until tomorrow! (Most of the time anyway)
7. I know what I'm doing. I don't need to compare myself to others.
8. I need to become better at renewing my mind. (Thank you, Lord, for the recent messages on just this!)
9. Life doesn't stop just because school starts. (I've been proving this to myself, lately.)
10. God has blessed me with some wonderful people to work with. People who build me up and remind me why I love to do what I do.