Friday, March 30, 2012

I Didn't Sign Up For This...

Those are the words that enter my head when I have a tough day at work...when I feel like a failure as a teacher because I just can't seem to get through to these kids.

I've been reminded over and over again by my mother, my husband, my colleagues, and even some of my precious students that I am not a bad teacher. And I know this. Because I've worked with "bad" teachers. But in my heart of hearts, or maybe my wildest dreams, I desire to reach every single student that enters my room (something I know is not possible). Even when the lead gang banger enters my room and daily makes me want to rip my hair out and I want to scream that I don't care anymore, it would be a lie. Because I do care. I can't help it.

There are days where I really wish I could just wash my hands of some of these kids and tell them that I am done trying. That would also be false...because the very next day I would find myself trying again. Trying to find words that might actually get to them. Trying to get them to open up and tell me why they act the way they do. Trying to get them to understand why an education is actually important. Trying to get them to see their own worth and potential. I try everyday. And nine times out of ten, I fail. Or in the words of Thomas Edison, maybe I just find ways that don't work.

And for some crazy reason unbeknownst to me, I keep trying. But I actually did utter the words to some of my students yesterday after a particularly frustrating class that had me slamming doors and quitting my lesson for the day that I did not spend 4 1/2 years in college and go $30,000 into debt from student loans just so I could take the disrespect and nasty attitudes that I do everyday. I deserve more than that. Don't I?

But didn't Jesus deal with the same and worse? He still deals with it. And He still loves and cares about those that curse His precious name. And I don't think that He would ever utter the words, "I didn't sign up for this." Because the fact of the matter is...He did. That's the very reason He died a cruel and awful death on the cross. That's the very reason He overcame that death 3 days later. That's the very reason that He's going to come again and gather us up.

So maybe, just maybe...
                     ...when I decided to become a teacher of hormone crazed pre-teens and teens
                                         and when I decided to follow Jesus...
                                                           ....I did sign up for this.

                                                Just Maybe.