I’ve been caught up in my pseudo-job of student teaching. I am learning so much, and am longing to write down how I’ve seen so many relationships grow, how I am working on correcting my (many) teaching flaws, and how this experience is causing me to begin to have a vision for grace-filled teaching. I want to show students God’s love without reservation, even though my testimony in the classroom will consist not of scripture, but of consistency in my attitude toward them, a passion for learning and understanding, humility to admit my flaws, and patience and self-control when dealing with classroom management and individual students who struggle with school.
I love my students. My heart is definitely in this for the long haul, and I am so thankful God has brought me this far. I can honestly say that it is an act of God that I have come out of college as a better person, and have had many experiences that have excellently prepared me for loving students facing a variety of obstacles. I praise God for all of it!
However, every good thing is made sweeter by trials. One of the things I’m working on is to not only focus on student rapport, but to learn and love my semi-colleagues… senior teachers? I’m not sure what to call people with whom I’m supposed to be on the same level, yet at the same time not the same level because I am a student, but I think you can gather what I mean. Some days I struggle with feeling like I’m trying to please at least four different authority figures at once at school. I become tired of being understanding, tired of having to work so hard to negotiate through assignments and grades, and tired of being positive because I’m just plain worn out. It is tiredness that my sinful nature attempts to hijack.
It is so easy to complain, but so difficult to deal with the truth of how what is going on in my heart is reflected in words (Luke 6:45). I need to remember not to be a spiritual bum when I’m tired. What is also frustrating is that this is exactly what happened when I went overseas and had an amazing and challenging opportunity similar in some ways to student teaching. I got tired, and I became another person. I still inwardly cringe when I think of some of the unfiltered, ruthless things I have said. It is a struggle.
For this reason, I am very glad that God is someone who allows us to make a new choice each day, and gives us the opportunity to follow Him on the straight path. I’ve been reading first and second kings lately, and the theme I’ve been seeing through the cycles of leadership is this: each man is judged for the choices he makes in life. Pretty basic Sunday school stuff, right? Yet even the short passages say either “he did not turn to the left or the right, but followed God and honored him with his actions” or “he was even more evil than his father, and did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
Now this could turn into an examination about how the sins of the father affect the son, but I’d like to focus more on the choices aspect of it. Even men with evil fathers (think Jonathan and Saul) have the option of paving a new path. God promises that through Him, we are more than conquerers (Romans 8:37).
I was also reminded of Romans 12 in that God has given us the tools to succeed. We should not weary in doing good and loving others. His grace and strength are enough.