faith, school, teaching

Fighting the Good Fight in the Classroom

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

When I went into teaching in 2007, I was going to change the world. I was really going to make a difference. That first year, though, was awful. I had no clue what I was doing, and no idea really how to improve. Long story short, health issues with my little girl kept me home for the next several years.

When I went back into the classroom in 2011, I met a teacher who took me under her wing and I slowly started becoming the teacher I wanted to be. At year eleven and back at my original school, I’m still no where near perfect. I try. I try hard. And I fail, miserably on some days.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a parent that in all honesty made me feel like a total failure. In that moment I wanted to curl up and cry and frankly just throw in the towel. But I didn’t. I began to reflect on my interactions with this child. I began to think of the things I was doing to push him during times I’m not even required to.

We all have a kid like that don’t we? Or even multiple. Sometimes it’s your whole classroom. You do all you can. Most of the times, however, you don’t get that phone call.

It was hateful, and she had already decided I was the enemy. If you’ve taught any amount of time, you’ve experienced one of those. We’ve all been there. And even when we know the words spewing from the mouth are untrue, how do we get past that?

First, I believe we need to pray. No matter what is going on, prayer will see you through. Prayer is when you get to talk with your Savior. I promise he will give you peace no matter what.

Secondly, you have to continue to love the child. No matter what they may have gone home and said or you think they’ve said, you have to love anyway. I Peter 4:8 says, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” It’s amazing what happens when we love anyway.

Thirdly, we have to keep fighting the fight. Teaching school is hard, and lawmakers make it harder. Most people have no clue what it’s like to battle all of the things we do with such little payout. Students who could barely sit still at the beginning of the year are showing tremendous growth in behavior and social interactions, but they are measured by a single test score. However, they can’t thrive until those things are taken care of first. No one sees those things or wants to measure that growth.

So, we keep fighting. We take our own time to plan and pull. We spend nights with family grading papers and struggling to help those behind. We do so many things no one sees. We try and then we try harder. At the end of the day, we just have to keep fighting.

Keep your head up high. Say a prayer for peace when it gets to be too much. Love anyway and just keep fighting. You are amazing!

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