Saturday, January 21, 2017

And the winter be done.

Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path. Psalm 119:105

And let us remember, when we are inclined to be disheartened, that the private soldier is a poor judge of the fortunes of a great battle. –W. R. Inge

 And I am inclined to be disheartened this fine morning, as the torrential rains splash down around me. And the stacks upon stacks of lab journals and Motion review and reinforce and quiz worksheets and Martin Luther King and To Kill a Mockingbird essays and the chapter 26 social studies Civil Rights Era test and the desperate need for six new seating charts and next week’s lesson plans and reviewing dozens of SARSEF science projects shared on before they are printed up and rubber-cemented to trifold cardboard displays. Oh yes, and addressing some of those irate parent emails. And, oh yes, the paper-clipped respectful letters to new President detailing an important issue, written while watching the inauguration.

My first day ever as a middle school teacher, Mr. Bowen taught me to toss one third of the papers, check in one third of the papers as completed, and actually only grade one third of the papers. So this is what I have left.

I pretty much feel like the worst teacher ever. My kiddos do not even sort of understand the simplest of velocity calculations such as average speed (really), and seemingly cannot write a coherent “power paragraph” about “Pizza is” or “Cupcakes are.” Thesis, support, support, conclusion. No way, José. I spent all day yesterday and the day before typing up lists of missing assignments and emailing them to students and guardians (hence all of the frustrated letters to which I have to respond) because the newest updated electronic gradebook (besides erasing half of the students’ grades all the way back to August) was not capable of generating the promised missing assignments option. Good thing I insisted on buying an old school Ward green teacher book from Jonathan’s this fall. Even if I had to spend my own money.

But what can I do?

Pull out my little (figurative) red flashlight and point it forwards. Onward and upward. One step at a time. I have a full box of Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Sampler and a plastic bag of carrot sticks and a tub of red pepper hummus. And a bunch of Jonathan & Melissa Helser Youtubes.

He is mighty to save.
Whisper my name so only I can hear
Call to my heart and chase away my fears.
Explode my soul.
Let the walls come down.
And all these prison doors crumble at the sound.
Won't you come surround me, so I can rise above?
Dear Father in heaven, we rejoice that You are our Father. We rejoice that You rule and guide each of us so that our path in life leads to what is good and genuine and we do not get stuck in this or that slough. Lead us, renew us, and again and again free us to go forward, finding new courage and joy.