Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 16, 2007

Teeching is hard. (or is it heart?)

I’m subbing for the 7th & 8th Grade teacher for the next week. And probably for the 3rd & 4th Grade co-teacher after that, through the end of the year (all this on the three days I don’t teach Fine & Performing Arts, which is continuing). It’s bringing back some tough feelings and memories to be back to full-time in the classroom, plus working with the full range of subject areas. (What? You want me to teach math?)

I had kind of forgotten the weight: the burden of responsibility for the experience of 15-25 other people, for most of the day, every day. It’s probably something I take too seriously, emotionally speaking. They are their own people, after all. If they’re not motivated, or if their families and prior teachers didn’t set the kids on a good path already, there’s only so much I can do. It’s disappointing, but at some level, it’s not my problem. And as my wife reminded me this morning, if I become disorganized or screw up the regular teachers’ plans, it’s okay, because everyone makes mistakes. And the school is just grateful to have me there. Yet knowing all that in my head isn’t the same as believing it in my heart, or being able to relax and learn and enjoy the opportunity that this is for me.

It’s not entirely true that there are no second chances in America. But we do set the bar pretty high. I want so much to do well that the reality is bound to fall short of my own expectations, let alone the parents’ or school’s.

Lord, help me to relax, and let You carry us all through these changing times.


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