My outfit was all set out and my lunch was packed but I was not adequately ready for what was waiting- a whole new type of day- the school day in which I am responsible for the learning of my students that I had yet to meet.
Nothing could prepare me for this day.
I've changed quite a bit over the last 4 weeks.
This is not a transformation that has been made due to a longer day and the burden of piles of paperwork- it's what comes when you're grown up and supposed to do this sort of thing.
I'm different because I've been introduced to a new set of beautiful kids with individual stories- and each are in my life for about 45 minutes a day. I've been witnessing the lives of hardworking-passion-filled teachers pouring themselves into the lives of kids in our community that are desperate for these examples.
I'm supposed to be that kind of example.
It'll change you.
In the midst of attempting to teach something I've learned more than I could ever explain in a lesson.
1) Responsibility is important-but you must remember you're not the one making the plans.
As much as I prepared for that first day of school or any day after there has always been a bump in the road... and I've survived. I won't stop planning but I will start realizing that I have only limited control of what each day brings.
I never want to anxiously prepare plans for my future on a certain course and timeline again. Things haven't turned out the way I've planned- and that's because I'm not the one who's making my plans. God's in charge of that- and I believe it to be true more than ever.
They're better plans than mine, by the way.
2) You think you know but you have no idea.
No matter how much of an expert I think I am there's always going to be something I need to learn.
Every day brings more opportunity to grow. I'm now determined to become less stuck in my own ways and be open to reflect, transform, and better myself to reach my fullest potential.
3) Give grace- most everyone is working hard to do some good.
I've met several incredible individuals in the school system that are true servants in my community. I would have never met them unless I had walked into the building.
Some may criticize the system, the government, or the hard times we're finding ourselves in, however, I now have hope in people that are working tirelessly to make Lincoln a better place. I'm guessing that every office building, grocery store, factory, and shopping mall there are kind-hearted people working honestly to do improve the lives of people.
I'm going to give strangers a little grace- they could be serving my coffee- or teaching my kids- or helping me with my mortgage some day.
4) Each person has a story.
Regardless of a student and their ability or their attitude I'm finding there's always more to the story.
Giving grace each day should extend for more reasons than the ways people are working- we should love people because we don't know what they've been through. They may have been through hell today.
Maybe we shouldn't honk and yell at someone in our car... unless... nevermind. I shouldn't.
5) Relax- breathe deep- God willing you'll get to wake up and do it again tomorrow.
I've had a bad day... or two... or five.
No matter how difficult things have become and I don't think I can make it through, I find that God provides the strength to survive another day.
I don't think I could do it alone, though. I'm asking for help and receiving excess encouragement.
I'm respecting myself with more rest, quiet time, and grace when things go very wrong.
Maybe they don't and you're older, wiser, or more brilliant than I.
Despite the stressful situation I've been placed in I've never been so relaxed-- I'm needing to call on the God that gives me strength.
That's the best lesson I could ever learn.