Archive for September, 2010

Look in the mirror

Yesterday I went to training for Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. There is a lot of useful information in this training. Lots of good things I would use within a classroom in a ‘normal’ setting, but most of the day I found myself vacilitating between frustration/anger and depression/wanting to cry (in part to being sick).

According to this training, I failed last year. I let my kids rule me. I didn’t handle them effectively. I didn’t… I didn’t… I didn’t… I sat there taking this all in, and I literally wanted to scream. Try having a classroom full of the students you are describing and assuming most teachers have one of. Try calling for help like you say we should first, but not getting help. Try being in a building behind the school where there is no teacher next door to come running and help you.

No. You would do the same. If two of your students got into a fight, you wouldn’t stand there and try to use words while they literally try to kill each other. You would jump in and try to break it up even if it means you get punched and the other students aren’t ‘safely’ out of the room. Get real, they see and deal with this all on a daily basis. They know better than me how to handle it. Tell me you wouldn’t jump in and restrain someone who is delivering multiple blows to another student’s bloodied head.

Try talking a student out of  violent fight when all they can see is another male student taking pictures of them while in the locker room and restroom. Try telling me that as administrators and teachers we are just supposed to let them brawl in the lobby of our school for all to see without making an effort to break it up. Try telling me that you wouldn’t care about your own safety, but more about the safety of your students involved and not involved because that is what is needed.Try telling me you wouldn’t try to go after the runner when he is outside the school about to head who knows where in an unsafe neighborhood.

I didn’t enjoy my teaching experience last semester. In so many ways I still hold onto too much anger and bitterness. I still hurt. I still cry at times. I still want to scream at the top of my lungs that no one understands. No one can! Try being the 4th teacher in one school year to 27 students, 23 of which who treat you with no respect or regard. Try dealing with an incompetent administration and backstabbing, slandering staff who do nothing to support you, but only work to undermine and make your job harder. Try knowing that while you want to do something to help these kids you can’t when there is no consistency in your building which is one of the things they need the most. Try telling yourself over and over that it’s not personal when in many of the situations it is- especially when they are being taught by staff to make it so.

Tell yourself that they have things going on at home. Be compassionate. But don’t excuse their behavior! Seriously? You’d let them treat a teacher like they did and then walk back into class? You’d let them punch the living daylights out of another student and not suspend them? You’d catch a thief and then send them back to class, teaching them they can do it over and over again because there are no consequences. Teach them that you have favorites you buy rewards for or give money to when they’ve had a ‘good’ week by only being to ISS once or twice that week instead of five or more times. Teach them that they rule you and you have no control. None. Teach them that they can act however they want and still have the same privileges you just threatened to take away, all while undermining the teacher’s authority. Teach them that professionals gossip about other teachers and want them to lie so they can undermine and slander. Teach them that they don’t have to listen to authority because some sort of ‘buddy’ authority figure is always there to get them off the hook. Teach them that they can bully any student however they want, whenever they want. Teach them that your handbook says they will be expelled for sexual harassment, but that you lied because they aren’t expelled for a very serious case of it. Teach them it is okay for them to listen to no one, be responsible to no one, and teach them that all they have to do to get their way is be disrespectful.

Fail them. It’s what you do so well, both with students and with teachers. Then sit back and wonder why the next generation is in so much trouble…

Want a mirror?

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I’m in a very lonely stage of life right now. Some days I am okay with that. Other most days it is extremely difficult. Sometimes it is the most difficult when I am trying to find ways to remedy this- going places to meet new people, trying to ‘re-open’ friendships that had been put on the back burner due to locations, stages in life etc, and even when trying to maintain friendships with those that live farther away now than they did 4 months ago.

If you had asked me 6 months ago if I would love living on my own, I would have told you YES! Perhaps because there was tooooo much going on around me. I couldn’t escape noise and chaos and have a single bit of alone time. But now… now I live on a side of town farther from my friends, family, and church (and in the midst of some hard changes regarding these things). I have a roommate, but she is gone most every evening and most weekends. So for all intents and purposes I am living alone. And it is hard.

I have realized as time has gone on that I am even more convinced I am not created to live alone. Yet, it looks like the ineviteable is about to happen come December. I don’t enjoy living alone so much that it actually makes me long for home. Do I really want to move back to my family’s house? No, it doesn’t make sense at this point. But I’m so good at ‘painting pictures of Egypt’…

I question the Lord’s leading, knowing that He is good and will provide where and when He chooses. Yet, I wonder why He would desire to see me live alone when He knows full well the problems and temptations that come with that. I wonder about further removed from those who know me best and struggle with how He seems to be leading this way.

To know and be known… God, use these desires how you see fit.

God the Father Knows Best

Can I be perfectly honest? It’s not like there are many of you out there, so I’m sure there is less risk in this…

I’m a mess. I hurt. I know what I want. I want it soooo badly that it has started to hurt lots these days. Some days it is hard not to think that the Lord is holding out on me. After all, He knows what I want. He created it. These desires are perfectly natural, biblical…

I make a decision. I change my mind. I pray. The Lord surprises. I make a decision. The Lord chisels at my heart to show me that I’m desperately wicked. He changes my heart. He changes my desires. He changes what I believe I want or need. He tells me to wait, to lean on Him, to trust. To believe Him for the best even when it is not what I would have thought.

This has been the story of my life since graduation in just about every arena possible. I think it’s funny how in high school and college you think your life will just fall together upon being done with college. Quite the opposite has happened in my life. I’d say my life was ‘more together’ in college, at least most of college.

I struggle with decisions I have made in the past that seem to have led to where I am today. I struggle knowing that I’ve messed up more than I care to admit. I know God is sovereign, I believe it. But all to often I don’t live like I believe when in the quiet (or loudness) of my mind I am honest with Him and tell Him I don’t know how much longer I can go on believing Him to be good without this… Shallow? Yes. Prideful? Yes. Disgusting? Yes. Sooo hard?? YES!

Too often we buy into, perhaps because of our own thinking or because of what we are told, that if we grow in this and gain almost a state of perfection or contentment that God will then provide. Or that if we are sooo frustrated and worn down that since God won’t give us more than we can handle He’ll give it to us. WHAT!? You want to tell me where in the Bible it says that when we grow content then God gives us what we want? I didn’t think so. Scripture also tells us God won’t give us more than we can handle, so He just might choose to give us the grace to handle it instead of giving us what we so desperately want– out of the trial.

If we choose to believe these lies, we’ll become depressed, angry with God, and very ungrateful for all He has done. Preach the truth to yourself everyday. Hope will come as a result.

Illegitimate ungratefulness…

‎”An ungrateful person is only one step away from getting his or her needs met in an illegitimate way.” D.J. Kennedy

I’ve been thinking through this quote lately, or rather I should say it is one that keeps popping up over and over in my life. I’m learning lots about my prideful heart these days and how it impacts how thankful or ungrateful I am…

I see so much truth in this statement in regards to what ultimately opened the blinders from the eyes of my heart and caused a true conversion. I see more truth than I care to admit in current days or the much to recent past.

I think even what might be considered the simple everyday sins are a result of not being thankful, a result of not gazing at the cross and what Christ has done for us, but those sins that are of an ‘addictive’ nature, the ones that so accurately reveal idolatry in our hearts just show the ugliness of sin and our own depravity. It’s as if we knowingly choose to say, “Christ I know the work you did on the cross. I believed it for my own salvation, but now in my ungratefulness I’m saying You’re not enough. ”

Fact is, it’s open rebellion, plain and simple. Actually, it’s ungratefulness that at its core is illegitimate. It has no place in a believer’s life. We are saved and if that is not enough God is perfectly orchestrating every single detail of our lives. Now if I could remember this each and every day what a difference it would make.

Valley Pain, Mountain Joy

Sometimes healing comes after the pain…

Sometimes you have to walk the valley road to see the mountain view…

Sometimes, time and space are not enough to cause healing. You need tears and truth.

Oh, how I wish that I could say things are so perfect now, that quitting a crazy, don’t have words for it, job (which was really more than a job) has totally changed who I am- that I’ve bounced back completely spiritually, that it’s easy to find joy in little things, that I feel completely healed and restored from who I was before. But the reality is, I can’t.

People don’t understand how much I hurt. I don’t understand how much I can still hurt.  I don’t have words for it in prayer, and I don’t have the mental capacity to try to think it through. I just know I still cry at times. I should be back in a great spot with the Lord, but I’m not. I still question His goodness at times even when I know He is. I still have this odd form of resentment over walking that road. I find it hard to be little miss happy and joyful… Yes, there are times it is easier to be joyful than others i.e. I love this current job more than I think I ever could have before the previous experience. I’m not restored to who I was before. I still feel broken, beaten, and bruised in a lot of ways. While, I know they are now a part of who I am, shouldn’t they have lessened more by now. Shouldn’t I not hold my breath, expecting kids to be angry, disrespectful beings? Shouldn’t I be able to let go and move on?

Only time will tell. And tears and Truth.