Monday, June 9, 2008

Moving forward in teaching

School let out for the summer May 30. That was certainly a day of rejoicing for both teachers and students alike. I had to go in the following Monday to finish doing grades and check out for the year.

It had been a somewhat rough five months of teaching. I had heard that the first year of teaching is the hardest, and that many would-be teachers don't continue after that. Now I know why.

There were days I didn't know if I was going to make it. I remember one morning literally laying out on the floor weeping and crying out to God because I did not want to go into work that day. But what do you do? You get up and go anyway.

The Lord was always faithful, however, and would send other teachers my way on those days when I felt like never coming back. One day in particular stands out. I had been struggling with some things personally and related to being a teacher. Two fellow teachers came into my classroom during my prep period. Both of these men had been pastors in their former lives, as well. We had a great time sharing about personal and professional stuff. At the end of our time, they prayed for me. It was a very encouraging time, and just what I needed to get me through all the difficult things I was facing.

Thanks, Jeff and Jeremy. You guys are a blessing.

Next year, I'll be working at an Early College High School that is opening up in the new school year. The mission of an ECHS is to give motivated, at-risk students a rigorous, quality education such that after four years of high school they will have an Associates degree in college. I am looking forward to teaching students who, along with their parents, have made specific commitments to working hard to achieve high educational goals. My life's passion is still to be involved in full-time ministry, but this will suffice for now.

3 comments:

jnap June 9, 2008 at 9:54 PM  

Brian,

Maybe teaching committed, at risk youth is your ministry... I would much rather you spend time with them in high school than I spend time with them in a Texas prison on my caseload, as a social worker...

I believe folks like you do make a difference!

Brian June 10, 2008 at 3:03 PM  

Thanks for the encouragement, jnap.

It will definitely be my ministry for the next 1-2 years. I am looking forward to some aspects of the job, particularly the potential to impact students via extracurricular activities I will be overseeing.

BTW, I spent four years doing jail ministry in Rochester, NY. Interestingly, I found that the younger inmates (around 17-20) were tougher to reach than the older ones.

I view teaching high school as a seasonal ministry. For some, it's a life calling and a passion. I've met teachers like that, and I'm so glad they're out there. We definitely need 'em!

It's not the life calling God has given me. It's not my passion. But I know God can use me so I'm content with that. I'd appreciate your prayers. I pray that you would have a tremendous impact serving where you are.

jnap June 12, 2008 at 7:41 PM  

Brian,

Steff had told me about your jail ministry, and I have looked at the blog a couple of times, actually. It is AWESOME.

I hope you can find some peace and contentment in your teaching, and I will ask, in exchange, prayers for me and my work.

You are so right. "The young bucks" as we call them are so hard to reach... It breaks my heart to see them hurting themselves over and over again in an attempt to manipulate the system... So many were so accustomed to getting their way, being in charge, and being out of control that when they end up in a structured environment, they do not know what to do or how to behave...

I can only hope, through your classroom work and extracurricular activities, you will reach many students..

We know that one caring person can impact an otherwise lost life...

Thanks for sharing.

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