Thursday, June 3, 2010

Seasons, revisited

Hello, All,

I so appreciate all of your honest comments on Seasons. I love having a community of commenters that feels comfortable enough to be honest. I've mentioned many times that authenticity is critically important to me. I don't think that there is any place in our lives for flattery.

Anyway, having said all of that, I think that I need to clarify my point.

My point was simply that I know that teaching is not a lifelong career for me. It is not something that I believe that I'll spend my life doing. The Lord could have other plans.

However, the fact that I don't feel the strong passion to teach that I once felt, does not equate to my total disinterest in my students. I have the best class that I've ever had. They are smart, creative, loving, and flexible. I know their brothers and sisters and their favorite colors. I know their living arrangements and home celebrations and struggles. I know their reading abilities and their favorite restaurants. I've prayed with their parents and supported them as they raise their children. I've visited hospitals to see students and fed students my lunch when they were too hungry to concentrate on math. So, I don't want to give the impression that I'm sitting like a bump on a log in my classroom and scowling at any student who dares approach me. We sing and play games and act out plays and use our creativity to teach ourselves, because I know that we are our own best teacher.

My grade level is a team of four great, young women. We truly care about each other and they have saved my sanity on more than one occasion this year, as I was in and out for 3 surgeries and countless doctors' appointments. We know each other's classes nearly as well as we know our own. We always say, "It takes a village..." The students have pride in their grade level like I've never seen before, and it will be bittersweet to see our little crew go.

So, perhaps I gave the wrong impression when I said, "ride out the insurance". Truly, I work for insurance. My life has been such that I certainly would've retired by now if it wasn't for the insurance. I've had 2 back-to-back school years where I've missed almost 1/3 of each one, due to cancer. I would guess that many people (women especially) would stay home to take care of their families if it was a financial possibility.

The main point is being yielded to the season in which God has placed us. For now, teaching is my season. It's just simply that I feel God moving my heart in other directions. I have no idea what they are, but I want to remain submitted to His plan for me today, and every day thereafter. My point is, submitting my life to God's call - not teaching. I don't loathe teaching, it's just that I love God, and I want to be usable for His good purposes in me.


Lori Blong said...

I, too, taught for 5 years and just recently “retired” when we had our second child. I know exactly where you are coming from and struggled with the very same issues most everyday while I was teaching.
The first couple of years for me were all about the excitement and the idealism of what I expected education to be about: touching and molding the lives and hearts of kids who were just waiting for me to pour into their lives. And there was some of that but mostly, it was work…long, hard, thankless work that had more to do with paperwork and red-tape than it did with lives and hearts.
I have always felt called to some sort of ministry or Christian service. As my life is unfolding, I am learning that my ministry may not ever be in the form of a titled position at a church or a non-profit…maybe it will, but for now, it doesn’t look like it. And that is ok. In my structured, type-A brain, I think that if the Lord has called me to something, it will be formalized, with a burning bush and the whole nine yards. But I am starting to learn that my calling is to be faithful to Him in all my relationships, to look for places for ministry as I am going, and to be ready to contribute to the work of glorifying Him always. For me today, that involves wiping noses and changing diapers and modeling a thankful spirit for my kids. For you, it means faithfulness in the moment, even if that is not where you see yourself ending up. It sounds to me like you are doing an excellent job of faithfulness and service while you wait on the full revelation of His plan. You are an encouragement!

Kathryn said...

Never for a second did I (or most that know you at all) doubt that you would allow the students to suffer in any way.

I hope that when Madelyn enters her school years she will encounter teachers like you that take time and care enough to focus on the "extras" and not just the academics.

Praying for God's plans for you and clarity in your calling.

I too had to "ride it out for the insurance" when I was having complications with my pregnancy last spring and everything inside of me wanted to be at home taking care of the little life inside of me. I was also thankful for the staff at my school that was so understanding, helpful and supportive during that time.

Thank you for always sharing your heart so openly!

Jaye said...

I am not a teacher, I thought I wanted to be one until I worked at the Boys and Girls club and throughly decided that if I wanted ANY sanity i would never in a million years for with kids and crazy parents again.

But have you thought that maybe you need this experince to find your calling later?

Another Teacher said...

I completely understand your seasons post. I have taught school for seven years, and until I had my 2 year old it was much more to me, but now it is my job. I also teach for the insurance, and if I could I would stay home with my son. Having said that I do not treat my students with disdain or contempt either. I do love them and I want to educate them and help them. But I also know that God has more for me. I am posting this anonymously for one reason, my school district does not in any way agree with me. They do not like us to take our sick days, and while I started out this year with only 9 - I used every single one to take care of my son when he was sick. The district also thinks that our free time should be their's and they are constantly pushing us to do more - i.e. Saturday/Sunday tutoring. I think that all of this has only led to more dissatisfaction with my job. But again none of this is a reflection on the kids. Sorry the post is so long, but I think that unless you've taught school (especially in a state like TX that is so high pressure) you cannot know or completely understand the feelings that SO MANY TEACHERS have. Hang in there and I completely understand.

steve pond said...

it sounds like to me that some of the people making a comment about your seasons post do not know you very well. i for one had no doubt that you were totally into your teaching and doing a great job of it. the desires of our hearts do change and that is a good thing because that it comes from God and you know it. we love you lindsey and brian. and hey, you don't have to apologize for your honesty. God has blessed you and you have blessed us. thanks.

Camille said...

Amen, sister. I have been in the classroom 20 years and am riding out to retirement. I am getting tired-mentally and physically, but I LOVE my children/students and I give them the best that I can give them. Another teacher said it so much better than I could. And those of us that know you know what a great teacher you are. Love you.