Saturday, January 14, 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men

This past year has been full of me making plans and then having to sit back and watch them change. All of that change has been for good, some of it still hurts (I had a moment the other day when I was driving to work and the Grease Megamix came on. Ashley loved to sing to the Grease Megamix and I found myself crying a hoping that she is happy and safe and healthy.), and all of it has been suprising. A year ago, I was going through fertility treatments and waiting to know if Justin and I would be employed this year. Home and work were the most stressful they had ever been and I wasn't sure if I would survive. I did and it was one of my best years, personally and professionally.

The last year was filled with a lot of grace. Grace to improve relationships, grace to learn that marriage is hard and wonderful at the same time, grace to be loved by friends and family who hurt and celebrate with you, and the gift of students who somehow keep reminding how amazing your job is even when you aren't sure if it will be there in June. There were several times last year when giving up seemed like a good option, and yet God faithfully provided reminders along the way to keep me moving. At some point I gave in and I could not have imagined that I would be where I am now.

The past month, I have felt more change coming. Professionally things are moving and changing, and instead of feeling fearful and angry about it, I feel ready. I feel ready for whatever my job may turn out to be. Part of this is pregnancy, having a baby means I won't be the same teacher I have been. I feel it now, my relationship with students, what I am willing to take on, and what I worry about has shifted. The other part is a readiness for a new challenge, I have taught the same thing for awhile and am trained to do other things, maybe it is time for those?

Justin and I are debating if I will begin and admin program in the fall. The pros and cons are equally rational, but at the end of the day I am ready and I do think it would the best thing for my family. I do still love teaching. It is a hard and often thankless job,but there are amazing moments. This week I gave my 7th graders a very hard assignment, and I was not sure they could do it. They were given a historical article that college undergrads would read and asked to read it and write a paper on it. I did this because I believed that with the right strategies and support they could do it, but they would have to want to. I expected whining and complaning, I expected an uproar that the other classes were watching movies. I received hard work, multiple questions, and "I can't believe I read that" and "My brother had to help me, but he said it was pretty hard and he is in high school" and "Are you getting me ready for college? Because I appreciate that". Who could not love their job after comments like that. I love my 7th graders.

So, I am waiting for the change. If I learned anyting in 2011 it was that my plans don't work out, but an acceptance that I am not in charge can lead to amazing blessings.  The biggest blessing of all is currently moving around and reminding me that they are there and getting more active every day. I would relive the stress and pain of the last year a million times over just for that.

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