There’s a song I love called ‘Joy’ by Housefires. Part of the song reminds us there’s beauty in brokenness. I know this to be true. I’ve seen so much good come from the bad I’ve experienced since April which is a HUGE blessing. Ya’ll know I’m very genuine here so I’m just gonna come right out and type that on the other hand; I can’t quite see, sense or feel the joy in returning to teaching. I knew it was what God wanted when I sent the email stating I would be returning to the same school site. I know this now with certainty. What I also know with certainty is that I had hope that at the llth hour God would have opened a new door that paid better, would allow me a desk and office space, heck even a cubicle and I would be at peace pushing paper #wishfulthinking. Never in a million years did I truly expect to be serving again at the place I became the victim of a crime at the hands of a student I was entrusted to teach. But I am.
Ya’ll it has been so difficult for me. Not the kids. The students are fine. Difficult where I cried every day the week of preschool and slept every day this past week after work. I was mentally and emotionally drained. Even today I’m trying to tell myself that I have the capacity to do this when I know that is so far from the truth. I don’t. I’ve been broken and all of the educator me leaked out. I was reading my Jesus Calling by Sarah Young devotional Sunday morning and it spoke to healing. How Jesus sometimes healed everything all at once or other times as part of a process. He said, “I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life (it’s written as if Jesus is actually talking to you.” I was able to breathe a bit easier and let myself off the hook. It’s ok that I’ll never be the same educator, employee, coworker I was last school year. At least not so quickly.
God showed me who folks truly were and he showed me me. Y’all I’ve got some work to do and some work God is still doing! #prayforasistah What he hasn’t shown me is purpose. I know it is produced out of pain but I was kinda hoping I’d have a clue by now. Like what is going to be my ROI after I give and give and give again this academic school year. Will I get a promotion? More money for the college bound kid. A longer vacation that requires a plane ride to get there? Cause I never feel like there’s any reward in being called to this profession. I haven’t always felt this way but for a few years now I’ve done everything I could to quit and move on and I’m still here. Some days feeling stuck. Like I’ve been cursed with this gift that keeps giving out but doesn’t give or satisfy the owner, me.
I struggle with a burning desire to be doing work that matters and I can see the results. To be considered as one of the magical black girls doing something worthy, a joy to be celebrated. I now it’s weird for you to be reading these typed words but I feel like I’ve disappointed my mom, Goddie in choosing teaching. I;ve played the what ifs and why game so much no one else can win: If I had done xyz in school. Been smarter. Gone to law school. Not be single. Not be a single mom. On and on and on. Pondering how I’ve sacrificed being a better mom to my son because I had to put other kids before him from open house to putting up with the behaviors and being a mom when they needed it. After I got hurt I realized that education didn’t love me the way I loved it and I was ready to quit more than I had ever been. Cause who wants to be a punching bag? Not I said the cat. #linefromabook
In all of this I know that God is with me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 reminds me that it’s ok to be weak and rely on Christ to see me through the next 35 weeks. I know it’s His doing because I’m operating on zero. I hope to get to a place of acceptance where I can see all the good in this part of my journey. Where I am ok with this hardship because I’ve never once fallen and been unable to get back up. Heck I wanna wake up one morning more enthused about seeing kids than I am because I just get to wear clothes. My truth. Don’t judge my entire teaching career based on it…shrugs! For now I attempt to rest in the promises that come to sustain me from God’s word daily as I walk out this season of my life.
Here’s a few things I am asking you to do besides pray - please please PLEASE don’t take the work your child(ren)’s teacher does for granted. They learn to value what you value. Some of my fellow educators have put their entire heart into teaching and learning only to have it stabbed and stomped and kicked around the school year like a soccer ball. Encourage your son and/or daughter to appreciate the gift of learning. Teach them to respect the classroom leader and their peers. Hold the teacher to a high standard. We like it. At least I do. And hold the lawmakers and administration accountable for decisions made. Maybe just maybe this is what will encourage teachers like me to stay.
Romans 12:6-7 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;”