Today I remembered words that I wrote three years ago.
It’s all a circus act, I’m the conductor with the top hat… there’s monkeys and elephants to control, mice and rabbits to protect. There’s stage directors who help everyone be in the right place at the right time. There’s acrobats completing impossible feats. There’s many clowns and even lion tamers. Yep, our class is a circus. [Day 8: God is our Friend]
Explorers 2010 was the last time I was really responsible and “in control” of a group of students for longer than one or two isolated lessons. I felt like I was chucked in a pot of boiling water in those two weeks. However, I had two other teachers with me to help out with 9 kids under seven years old (as is necessary for that age group!). We only slightly brushed over management and discipline, yet I do remember it. Since then, it’s been lessons one-at-a-time, here and there, disillusioned by my success in management. However, as any teacher knows, it takes those few days, those few weeks, and the children start testing the boundaries, poking those boundaries to see if you’ll crack.
And I did crack. But no tears today, in front of 30 children, in Period 6 before their 4 day weekend. The adrenaline I suppose had sense enough to keep me calm, until the last dark green uniform had left the classroom and my associate teacher asked me wisely, “What have you learned today?”
I learned that my weakness is that I do not know how to communicate what I want, or fight for it. Well, I’ve been learning that since the beginning of this year, but still. What do I want? I am reminded of a story (I often am, it’s the way my soul works). And that story is of Runaway Bride.
You can look up the 90’s romantic comedy
sometime else, but for now, if you have seen it, imagine the part at the luau where the man who was a reporter/columnist finally pointed out to Maggie (who had left three men at the altar) that she didn’t even know how she liked her eggs. Scrambled? Sunny-side up? Fried? It was different for every guy she dated, to match his. You don’t even know what you want!
Applicably, it was only a few years ago that I finally figured out which style of eggs I like. I was one of those people who said “whatever’s easiest” without ever making a decision when someone actually wanted to bless me. And it’s very hard to love someone who does not know what they want. (And no I won’t be talking about relationships tonight, but this certainly has impacted my approach to them!).
How do you like your eggs? I mean, it’s not a to-end-all question, but it is worthwhile to know when you are at a bed-and-breakfast or especially at an American restaurant (“the Land of Choice”, as my dad calls the USA). But I think we need to start thinking about food, to get us thinking about life. What do we tolerate? What do we accept? What do we enjoy? What do we love? What makes us writhe? What aggravates us? It’s those last two that I need to work on answering. For in knowing our wills, we will know our hearts, and that is what God wants– my heart, not some empty, straggling sacrifice.
30 students have hearts, but I need to start thinking about my own. As Danny Silk
says in regards to parenting, “Put on your own oxygen mask first!” and oh how I need to constantly be reminded of that. Sure, I feel like I’m going through a “trial by fire” but what beautiful gold is to come. A teacher who knows what she wants– that has a conviction she has been called by God, and granted authority to love.
And oh, sometimes that love means firmly reprimanding and discipling children to protect that which means most to me. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11, ESV). What matters most to me? Relationship and righteousness, peace and joy, hope amidst trials, thanksgiving and love.
Love. There’s not much arguing about that one: “…and the greatest of these is love…” (1 Cor 13:13).
Looks like being thrown in scalding hot water was worth it after all.