Teaching is HARD.WORK. If you are feeling discouraged…know that you are not alone! I am right there with you. This week’s post is meant to be an encouragement for the teacher… for YOU! If nothing else…I hope you’ll leave this post knowing you aren’t the only one that comes home and wants to quit their job. 🙂
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Stock Photo provided by Atelier21
I try to be as open and honest about what is hard for me, especially when it comes to teaching.
I shared a blog post talking about my struggle to balance all that is going on right now for me personally, professionally, and with the blog(s).
Teacher Life Happenings
I decided to take a couple of weeks off to get my stuff together and feel a little more on top of things so that I could devote time to the blog.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks!
Cody and I FINALLY got the garage organized and I just want to do a happy dance now that I can actually walk in our garage without tripping over all of our stuff.
Emily and I spent the weekend in College Station visiting our littlest sister. And this is the only picture we got the whole weekend. We’re so photogenic.
I decorated for the new season and made some
yummy burnt snickerdoodle cookies to celebrate the arrival of Fall.
Cody and I had a weekend getaway in Kerrville to celebrate our friend’s wedding!!!
ANDDDD!!! The biggest relief….we got all these suckers written and mailed off!!! Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Amen! (what is wrong with my smile? IDK it was 6:30 in the morning when I took this picture.)
During this time of “rest”, I read Melanie Shankle’s new book Church of the Small Things. This book served as an encouragement to me as well as a reminder of the call God has placed on me for this time- which is teaching.
Church of the Small Things Encouragement
I originally heard of Melanie because I started listening to a podcast her and her best friend put on called, The Big Boo Cast. Since binge-listening to all of their episodes, I have fallen in love with the witty San Antonio Author/Blogger/Speaker.
Her book title says it all. We are to be the church of the small things. All the little things we encounter in the day to day make up the tapestry of our lives.
But…..instead, we spend our lives looking for the next “big thing” and completely miss the small things He is doing right in front of our faces because we are too consumed with looking elsewhere.
I think this is particularly true in teaching. Not only are we constantly comparing ourselves and looking to the teacher next door to validate ourselves.
We are always looking towards the next “thing.” For us that can tend to be the weekend and/or holiday breaks.
“When is the weekend coming?” “How long till Thanksgiving Break?” “Christmas Break?” “Summer…. Where art thou?!?!”
*There is no judgment here. I am already silently rejoicing that Thanksgiving break is seven weeks away! You’re welcome.*
It can also be the struggle of balancing our own (fur) children with the pressures of being a “good” teacher. Or the hopes, dreams, and goals we are pursuing outside of teaching. Heck, sometimes it’s the second job a teacher has to work just to make ends meet!
Teaching is challenging and it is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress, overwhelm, and frustration.
It’s so easy that we begin to resent our jobs for all the stress it brings. We take that resentment and frustration out on our students. It overflows into our home life. It just eats us away.
At least…I hope this is an “us” thing and not a “me” thing…
This has been a really hard year for me. (I write about it more in-depth on my personal blog and if you are interested, you can go read it here instead of me blabbering on about it all over again on this blog.)
My days are most often consumed with thinking about everything else I would RATHER be doing than being in my classroom with sixteen seven-year-olds.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kiddos and I LOVE teaching. But my heart is pulling me elsewhere.
So what do we do? What do we do when our heart isn’t present in the season that we are in? (OMG. I hate “Christianese”…you know…all the terms Christian people say? Ugh, I almost just typed “we press in”. LORDT…. be near!)
But for real, what do we do? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that. Sorry…I probably got you all psyched that I had some magic answer.
How to Find the Small
What Church of the Small Things reminded me of was the importance of seeing the small and mundane things that happen in my classroom on a day to day basis as little gifts from God. Little reminders that He is right there with me (and you!) in the midst of the difficult days.
So I propose a challenge. (I literally just thought of this two seconds ago so…..).
I want to challenge us as teachers to find the small things in our days. The little bitty itty witty things that seem so insignificant but are little nuggets of love from God reminding you that He is right there in that classroom with you.
He is listening to you as you model “how to blow your nose with all your might to get all the junk out.” Yes…He is there even in those moments that really just make you feel validated and like you are changing the world…………..
Like I said…I just came up with this idea. Here is what I’m thinking. Let’s spend the next thirty days looking for small things in our classrooms each day that point us to the bigger picture.
I’ll go first.
On Friday it was raining so we had indoor recess. When recess was over a little boy, without being asked, picked up the box of indoor recess games and brought them to the cabinet to put them away.
I never told my kids where the games belong. He had just been watching me, paying attention, and knew that putting the games away would help is teacher out. #teachforthesmall
What do you say? Let’s look for the small things each day, snap a picture, and post them on Instagram with the tag #teachforthesmall. I’ll be doing it. Join me! That way I’m not the only one using that hashtag……
And while you’re at it, order yourself a copy of Melanie’s book, Church of the Small Things. I promise you, you won’t regret it!
Also, don’t forget…you can grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!
Until next time,