I remember the first year I had my own classroom. I had been a student teacher previously, and being that the classroom was actually officially under the authority of another, I retained the luxury to pass blame to the “real teacher” if things were ever not up to par. She, after all, had been setting the precedent of behavior long before I appeared. However, when I had MY classroom, I was the one–the only one–to praise for successes or to blame for failures. Being that my first teaching gig was at a high school when I was fresh out of college, I was not much older than those I claimed authority over. Yet, if you know me, you know I am spunky enough to make up for that small age gap, not to mention my small size and youthful looks. Although confident in my abilities, I always felt I had much to prove, especially to those responsible for hiring me back the next year! I was certainly up to the challenge though.
At my first school, I had the privilege of sharing a thin partitioned wall with one of the school’s most revered employees, Coach H, that knew his history curriculum like the back of his hand and could control his Seniors with ease. I always feared that a moment of unruliness in my world would pervade into his serene environment, prompting him to tell someone that the novice next door was useless. Fortunately, that never happened. If maintaining the peace to keep Coach H happy wasn’t enough, I also had to be on my toes for unexpected visits from the principals.
If you’ve never taught before, you’ve at least been a student, so you can realte on the feeling of uneasiness that came when the man or woman in charge of your school stepped into your classroom or stood next to your desk. You most certainly wanted to be “on task,” doing what your teacher requested. As a teacher, you not only have to worry about having yourself on task, you must hope and pray that all 30 students are following suit. If someone of importance glanced into your classroom, your hope is that you are on your feet, teaching the most intriguing lesson on the most entertaining topic to the most enthuastic students who have the most relevant questions that are followed by the most elequant repsonses from you. That is your hope. The reality that you will settle for? Everyone setting in his or her seat with no one throwing paperwads across the room. Good enough.
No matter what though, it was a desire of mine not just to do my job but to do my job well, in such a way that made my superiors say, “She’s good; we want her back next year!” So, these aforementioned thoughts came back when I read this verse recently:
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28
I can emotionally and mentally recall seeking to portray my best, to give my a-game, to be on task, and to ultimately impress when it came to my professional employment. I always wanted to be pleasing to my principal/boss, unashamed at how I was handling my job. Outside of the classroom, when I am “off the clock,” that sense of urgency to be doing well did not always exist on the same level. Not that I was doing bad, I just was not as conscious of each move, for who is really checking in on my game called life? After reading 1 John 2:28, however, I realize that the same emotions of wanting to always be caught in a good moment should exist. I am, after all, continually being watched by my Savior, and I most certainly want to be unashamed of how I am performing once He reappears. I want to be speaking kindly to my toddler rather than yelling, have my home clean rather than cluttered, loving my husband rather than nagging, spending wisely rather than wasting. When the clouds roll away and Jesus returns, I want a confidence concerning my life, unashamed of how I am carrying out the tasks He has given me.
Boy do I have a lot of work to do :o).
Who’s with me?