“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
– Ecclesiates 3:1 NIV
Without fail, at the conclusion of each school year, I would receive some inspiration and sense of mission that would get me motivated for the upcoming school year, but I was still looking forward to summer. I am thankful to God, at the conclusion of my second year returning to the classroom, He has restored my passion for teaching and positive outlook for the upcoming school year. Though I will be transitioning to a new school this coming fall, my 3rd in 3 years, I am optimistic and motivated with renewed hope and a restored commitment to my role as an educator. For the past year and a half, from 2010 through the first semester of this school year, I wrestled with God and struggled internally with my frustration of having to return to the classroom. Personal and professional challenges only exacerbated the internal opposition to contentment I was having with the will of God for me returning to the classroom. Disappointment, disillusionment and discouragement made it difficult for me to say, ‘Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.’ By the conclusion of the 1st semester of the 2011-2012 school year, however, I recognized the presence of God at work that helped me to surrender and allow Him to move to the forefront.
By the end of February, God restored my passion for teaching that enabled me to come to work with the spiritual equilibrium I would need to face the new challenges awaiting me in the classroom not previously experienced. My mother interceded for me with my most challenging class of 8th graders and by the end of the 2nd semester, I could see the result of her prayers! Unknown to me, another colleague was observing me in how I interacted with the students in the classroom she was assigned to shadow a student enrolled in my class. She later approached me to thank me for the way I consistently conducted myself and modeled how to respond respectfully in the face of student misconduct that reinforced to her, as a Christian, how to handle the challenges she was facing with professional colleagues within the school community. We began to fellowship and eventually she shared how God was ministering to her through our conversations at work to help her in her faith walk with Christ. I explained to her that her testimony of watching me was received by me as an affirmation from God that He was pleased with my efforts and initiative to model the person of Christ.
My colleague’s expression of gratitude for Christ’s work through me was as encouraging for me as His work through me on her behalf. By the end of the school year, I saw God work everything together for good that challenged and opposed me in my efforts to model Christ and manage my classroom. As I relinquished my frustration, surrendered and trusted God more, I saw God work in me and through me and around me in ways that reinforced His intimate presence with me as I endured and persevered. God’s affirmation through my colleagues testimony and my mother’s intercession reinforced to me God’s love and support available to me to help me in the classroom. By the end of the school year I also met another colleague who expressed a sincere desire to edit my manuscript that felt like a reward from God for enduring and persevering through the process of transitioning back into the classroom. I transition into this summer more confident, assured and secure in what I have achieved returning to the classroom the past 2 years, overcoming the frustration and external opposition associated with being an educator that has me more optimistic and motivated about the upcoming school year. despite the uncertainty associated with having to transition for the 3rd time in 3 years into a new school community, I move forward understanding I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
May God bless you and help you to experience renewal, refreshment and restoration over the summer that will give you the necessary motivation and refueled passion to teach, influence and inspire learning in the classroom.