‘Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’
– Philippians 3:12-14 NIV
In order to transition from a mindset of surviving in the classroom to thriving as I transitioned back into the classroom, I had to learn (apply) what the Apostle Paul mentions in Philippians 3:12-14. By no means was this easy for me, because the position I had outside the classroom was ideally suited for the things I desire and like to do in working with children. There was for me tremendous grief, loss, and sadness associated with transitioning back into the classroom, coupled with the frustration of not desiring to return:) To transition from surviving in the classroom upon my return to thriving, I had to make a serious, sincere attitude adjustment.
I had to forget about what was left behind, the great sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment that came from that season of operating outside of the classroom in the manner that I did, and learn to move forward by looking ahead. To do that, I had to accept and embrace where I was going. I had to learn to find new motivations, aspirations, and ambitions that would help me to forget what was behind me. I actually said to myself and to others, ‘I feel as if I have accomplished everything I desired as a classroom teacher.’ I have sense discovered, my encounters and experiences every year since returning to the classroom has offered new aspirations, experiences, and opportunities that only reinforces how difficult it was for me to accept moving on from what was into what God wanted for me at the time.
Blogging became the means by which the attitude adjustment would equip, enable and empower me to truly move forward and learn to look ahead with hope and expectancy instead of resignation, reservation, and contempt. I had to revisit what it felt like to be an educator who was enthusiastic about teaching. I had to relearn how to be inspired about getting up and going to work to educate and inspire the students assembled in my classroom. I had to incorporate the use of positive self-talk strategies for myself I would encourage my students to use when they find it difficult to accomplish a specific task. Moving forward and looking ahead occurred because God helped me to overlook temporary feelings and momentary thoughts that opposed the future opportunities of fulfillment, progress, and success awaiting me on the other side of accepting the way He had chosen for me to take returning to the classroom!
May God bless you and help you to embrace the right heart attitude that will equip, enable, and empower you to experience His favor and grace in your role as an educator.