That Was Never For You

Sunday, April 16, 2017
I’ve tried really hard to be a teacher blogger.  Once in a while I get it right but more often I miss my old blog where I just poured out my musings.  So, if you’ll indulge me, perhaps once in a while, I’ll pour out my musings here.  Starting now…

I love Easter almost as much as I hate Christmas.  It sounds conflicting, I know, but at the least it reassures me that I really do love Jesus. To me, Christmas is confusing and chaotic, much like it must have felt for those living out the nativity story.  But the Easter story, while painful in parts, is so much more… love, hope, and peace.  To me, Easter brings clarity. 

At our sunrise service today, I experienced clarity.  I’m not one to often claim God speaks to me directly, but this morning He did.  As I reflected on my faith and found myself asking Him yet again why my life doesn’t look quite like most thirty-somethings on Easter morning (or any morning for that matter), I clearly felt five words in my heart: “That was never for you.”

Jealousy is defined as, “an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has.” Is there a more powerful emotion?  We see it in ourselves, we experience it our relationships, and we try in vain to teach it out of our kids.   I fight it every day in my classroom. “I raised my hand first.” “He cut in front of me in line.” Or more seriously: “She doesn’t want to play with me anymore.” “They never let me play football.”    And don’t even get me started on trying to play detective when petty objects or snacks get stolen out of desks, lunchboxes and bookbags.

 What is it deep inside that makes us always want what someone else has?

It’s so hard not to think this way—not to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.  But Romans 8:11 says, “the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.” And I assure you His is not a jealous spirit in this way.  In fact, it’s the opposite—humble, sacrificial, and unselfish to a degree we can’t imagine.   We get so hung up thinking it’s all about us, especially in this social media driven world where pride and comparison reign constant.

More often than not the things we get so hung up on were never for us in the first place.  We aren’t missing out if it wasn’t in His plan.  We aren’t being punished and we don’t deserve better.  All we deserved was the punishment He took for us on the cross.  He did so in order to save us from eternal Hell and in the meantime from a life spent meaningless... 

 If there’s one thing I’m thankful for today and everyday, it’s that.


Ten Things Teachers Say That We Don't Really Mean

Saturday, April 1, 2017
April Fool's Day is a day to say things you don't really mean and get by with it.  While we were lucky enough to have April Fool's Day fall on a Saturday this year so we missed out on sharing it with our students, it has gotten me thinking about how in our profession, we say things we don't really mean all the time.  I'd venture to say teaching is up there with used car salesman and lawyer when it comes to uttering untruths and getting by with it.  Just to name a few...

"If you do that one more time, I'm going to call [your parent, the principal, etc.]" Let's be honest. It'll take at least half a dozen more times before we reach for that phone.

"Of course I remembered there's a staff meeting in five minutes." Who am I kidding? I can't even remember to use the bathroom during the day.

"I know who made that noise and if I hear it again, there will be consequences." I have no idea who made that noise but hopefully that'll make it stop. And if it doesn't, I'll pretend I didn't hear it so I don't have to admit I didn't know who it was in the first place.

"I guess you're going home with me [to the student whose parent is late]." Has anyone ever once made good on this threat? I'm thinking it would make the news if we did.

"I've never had a class who has as much trouble handling this as you guys do." In truth, I've been just as exasperated with every class I've ever had at some point or another. But a little shaming can't hurt.

"There's no way you turned that in. I wouldn't have misplaced it." I sure hope you find it when you go back and check your folders again. Because it very easily could've gotten swallowed up in the constant mess that is my desk.

"Of course I don't have a favorite student." Except for maybe that one who always does what they're supposed to without asking me if they're my favorite.

"I spelled that wrong to see if you were paying attention." Does anyone believe that one anyway?

"I chose your groups for a reason." Sometimes they are differentiated, balanced, and well-planned for personalities and learning styles.  Other times, I'm tired and I just use Team Shake.

"I can't believe the school year is almost over."  Oh yes, I can.  I love my students dearly and will miss them truly but a school year is 180 days for a reason.  Eventually, we all need a break.

Hope your April Fool's Day was prank-free!  Maybe next year I'll come up with something as cool as that guy's hilarious spelling test.  But more likely I'll be too easy making empty threats and faking it 'til I make it.  What about you?