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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casting out the self-doubt and KNOWING I found the right place for me to be

Most of you know that my heart is overflowing with elation, gratitude and anticipation right now. I wanted to take a minute (?) and reflect. For this last year I have been questioning the powers that be (school administrators, God, myself... don't take that wrong, I am just saying I have some influence over what happens in my life), and asking (crying? whining? perhaps) why (insert whiny voice here), oh why, do I not have my very own classroom? The answer came this week. The job I was offered will have definite challenges, and I am more than a little bit terrified. It is not the job for just anyone. But the reason for that is because God saved it just. for. me. It is the "just right" job for me. When Mr. Martens called to offer the position he said I could have 24 hours to think it over and I told him that I didn't need it. Everything can look "just right" on paper and if there is a bad vibe, or a communication snare (let's be honest, some people intimidate me), or a general difference of teaching philosophy, then it is probably not meant to be. Now don't take that too seriously, I think God has allowed me, asked me to, or "let me" work outside of my comfort zone many times and it is good to learn from the materials, the people, the karma. But I knew from the ease of discussion with my new teaching partner and with my new principal that I was in for the right job. I didn't need to sleep on it or pray about it or discuss it. All I have done for a year is pray about it and wait (and none too patiently either)! I know me and it is necessary to have a healthy respect for the person who is your supervisor. It is also necessary to know that they are on your team and you are stranded together and that just like in marriage, you are stronger because you're wrapped up in the same general goals. So I knew that I would thrive in this job. And guess what? I am a force to be reckoned with. I say that jokingly and yet.... each one of is. When we believe in ourselves and we feel empowered to follow our passion, we have the power to change the world. I may not change the world, but I will definitely leave a mark. And I don't mean like.... "ouch, that's gonna leave a mark!" The other day I plead with God, all the way to Mt. Hope (and since the bridge is out, that 45 minute drive was more like 55 minutes to an hour), to just let me be genuine and authentic and that I would not be too crushed if this were not "the job" for me. And I walked into the longest teacher interview I have ever been in. And I don't mean that the time dragged (drug?) on and on, but it was literally an hour and half before it was all said and done and I said to myself, "wow, that time went so quickly." That is how I anticipate my year to go.... so quickly, in a double-edged-sword kind of way.... exhausting and energizing... all at the same time! I am not good at interviews, so when I was able to relax and be myself and have no doubts about my thoughts and beliefs (I don't know why I doubt myself, it never changes my beliefs), I knew that if the offer didn't come in, this was not the right job. So many times I go into interviews and I fail to show who I am and my passion for teaching and then I am crushed that they couldn't see me and chose someone else. But this time, I know I was genuine and that if I got the job, it was meant to be, and that if I didn't get the job it was meant to be. I sometimes fail at selling what I have and sometimes that is because in interviews I feel like I am supposed to sell something that I don't have. And I know it's part of the game, but I've decided not to try and sell a set of goods I don't possess. End of story.

I love the staff at the school that I worked in this last year. They are amazing and I call them my colleagues. And they are in so many ways. They cheer me on, they help me succeed, they applaud, they hold me up, and they are (gently) honest with me. It's not because I am special, it's because they are. They do this for any/every person who ventures there. It is a true blessing. I have no regrets that I taught in a classified position this year. I learned SO MUCH. I made so many friendships! The kind that will last my entire teaching career. And here's the butt.... but for as much as I applaud Cody and think he's a wonderful and powerful presence in their building, he intimidates me. Which means that sometimes I am able to be myself around him and sometimes I withdraw into this quiet, uncertain person. Or else I use bravado, which looks like arrogance. Neither is very attractive and both will hurt me as I strive to be the best teacher I can be. This is an area I must work on. Even very charismatic people like Cody, should not intimidate me.  I am a great teacher and I have a lot to offer. (How's that for humility?). I realize that as time wears on, I will grow in this aspect. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

If I had not worked with so many grade levels this past year (ironically, Kindergarten through 4th grade), I would not have known that I can do this job. Were it not for the encouragement of my colleagues, and let me just say... the Second Grade Teachers, I would not have known that I was able to plan extension type activities, the type of activities that cements learning into young minds and makes them thinkers instead of copiers. I would still have the dream, it's always been there. But I wouldn't have had the confidence born of being scared to death and saddling up anyway (thanks John Wayne for that great quote). Missy kept telling me that one day I would know God's plan for me. And I have enough experience to know that there are some things I will never know the why of it, but I can see so much more clearly now!

What a blessing. It is going to be a great adventure. I feel like God has handed me the exact job I desired and it isn't because I "deserve" it, (I AM qualified, don't mis-read that), it is because He chose to do it out of His great love for me. For me! So happy father's day God, I am so glad you love me and show me your love.

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