Lately

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.

Shots of my Thoughts…

because that is the only kind I will be taking this VEISHEA week.

1. I have a multicultural foundations of education class in which I am constantly exposed to anti-Christian sentiments, pansexual awareness, and religious pluralism in the classroom. Thank GOD for my friend Amy S. who is there and wrestles with these tough issues with me. How do I maintain the integrity of my faith and properly express that in a way that shows God’s love for humanity and is still honoring to Him?

2. It’s VEISHEA week. It’s supposed to snow on Saturday like my freshman year when I remember taking photos of friends and FREEZING at battle of the bands. I’m nostalgic, but also way too homework-taxed to really enjoy this.

3. I’ve started writing down my dreams in an attempt to understand them better. Lately, they haven’t been nightmares like I used to have all the time. They’re still reasonably dangerous, but my dream self isn’t terrified anymore. I’d like to think that says something about me, but I don’t know if it does.

4. I have a lot of homework but I feel like my mind is focused as long as I start breaking down the massive block of fear about it and don’t dwell on these feelings. As such, I haven’t been going in to work this week, and I don’t feel bad about that decision. School > work.

5. Romans 12:1-2 or Romans 5? I should show you the design I have drawn up. I still want that tattoo on my ankle. Apparently, I also explain why better when I’m half asleep. If it happens, it will be extremely pre-meditated.

6. Lord God, You are faithful. Reign in me and work powerfully through me for Your glory and credit, that I may love you more as Your daughter. Hide my will in Yours, open my eyes from blindness, and lead me Home in Your time. I love you more than I understand, because Your love is beyond what I can learn in a lifetime.

I Got Involved in Politics.

This is an historic moment. I even made the Daily with my letter in response to this article, which was discussing the relations between ISU Ambassadors and ISU Republicans. I would like you to know I lobbied at Regents’ Day at the capitol on Monday against the magnitude of proposed budget cuts for Regents’ universities, and enjoyed both observing and participating in local politics. It’s another step towards my maturity I suppose lol

Here it is!!!

Minor Practicum Update

First of all, I LOVE IT!

Second of all, I got to read out loud to part of the class today. They are sophomores studying The Pearl by John Steinbeck. When given the option to leave the room and be read to, or to read by themselves, most wanted to read by themselves…. that is, until they found out I was reading and my gracious host teacher talked me up. About half of them wandered down the hall with me.

I began reading chapter four, and in the back of the room was this shaggy haired kid just grinning idiotically. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I ignored it and practiced my super-teacher classroom management skills by walking around the room a little bit when some students were chatting with each other or not paying attention. It went really well, and I had fun!

Afterwards, I was straightening chairs when I came across a couple tiny post-its used for marking books. One said “creep!” One was crumpled. Me being me, my insatiable curiosity got the best of me and I uncrumpled it.

“I bet I can make her laugh.”

Uh-huh. Nice try, sophomore boy, nice try.
Rachel: 1 Troublemakers: 0