Untenured Teacher Gets Her Groove Back

Yesterday was a bad day.

They tell you to be prepared for those, and I certainly have had bad days in my previous four years as a teacher, but seriously. Yesterday was a VERY bad day.

It was the first day I was pulling out my four 4th graders for language arts in the morning, and my eight 5th graders in the afternoon. As I got ready to come to school, all I felt was dread. I had my carefully laid plans but had to think on my feet as I COULDN'T GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE when I was working with my four 4th graders. Turns out? One of the students hadn't taken his meds. My fifth graders were a much quieter and more pleasant bunch, but I was down in the dumps all day. Couldn't shake a (usually very foreign feeling) of HATING every aspect of my job as a teacher. I had lost my joy, my motivation, my creativity, my will to teach.

I started to think about all the other jobs that I could be good at. Anything to get me out of the classroom, please. I did one sigh after another, after another until it was time to punch out.

I'm not sure why I was feeling that way--maybe, new job in a new school in a new state with zero time to get used to it all before the kids showed up? I was worried it was more than just passing stress.... what if I was never happy teaching again?!!?

Max was so sweet--patiently listening to my list of complaints, assuring me that I'm a fantastic teacher. But I was still dreading coming back to school.

That evening I was reading Exodus 18 and 19 (making my way through the Old Testament these days) about how Aaron and Hur helped Moses keep his arms raised for the length of the battle against the Amalekites. And later how Moses' father-in-law Jethro came for a visit and showed him how to make his role as judge much easier.

And I fell asleep praying that God would send me some help.

I woke up this morning with my arms crossed (pouting in my sleep perhaps) and I dragged my sorry self to school. I had just taken about six steps past the front door when I was intercepted by a woman wearing a visitor badge.

She said (and this is a direct quote except for her name): "Hi, my name is Sally. Are you Sarah? I'm here to help you and support you in any way you need it!"

And then angels burst forth in song, and I totally burst out crying in relief and gave her a giant hug. Or I played it cool and just smiled as we walked to my classroom. Whatever.

She explained that while her official role was a diagnostician, she wanted to make sure that she was available to the new Deaf Ed. teachers to the building. She thought she had met us all, but it turns out she hadn't met me yet because I wasn't at the New Teacher Orientation.

She stayed in my classroom for about an hour as I worked with my fourth graders (now considerably subdued because Mr. HYPER had taken his meds this morning). She came up to me later in the day to shower me with compliments about my teaching style.

And that is how my prayers were answered. And I even feel like I'm getting my teacher-joy back!


Anonymous said...

I love that it's a possibility that you pout in your sleep. You've had to get used to a whole lotta new things in a tiny amount of time. Breathe! And then remind me to do the same if I do indeed have 27 Kindergarteners this year. ~JM

Randy et Jan said...

I'm helping you lift your arms too, kiddo!! I love this story and I'm with you all the way! Mom

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you got some support! Those kids need an awesome teacher that cares so much about them. Hopefully your chatty one stays on his meds! Have a super rest of the week!

Anonymous said...

And so, prayerfully groove on!
Love, Brenda

Anonymous said...

I am sooooo glad we have JESUS! He knows our every need and ALWAYS delivers ON TIME...

Angela said...

I love how God comes through like that! Whenever I get desperate and 'need' a sign, He always makes it so clear that He hears my prayers and has the solution.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Simply WOW.


roller coaster teacher said...

Wonderful story, Sarah :) I wish you all the best during these starting weeks of school.

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