Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why Do I Teach?

During my education classes I was required to write an explanation detailing my desire to teach. These are reasons I included:

*I had such an amazing high school English teacher. She had a tremendous impact on my life, and I would love to be that person for future generations of youth.

*I believe it's a wonderful ministry opportunity, and I can't imagine being a teacher without my faith.

*I love literature. I am passionate about literature. I want to make others passionate about literature.

*I have a heart for teens. I think adolescence is one of the most difficult stages a person will go through in life, and I think it's important that teens have good role models to help them through such a tempestuous time.

After this last week, though, I'm having a hard time remembering why I want to teach. The aforementioned reasons seem trite and naive. This past week has been emotionally and physically draining. Our school body is hurting right now. Students are angry and hurt. I drive home and just pray for healing, for understanding, for patience. I wish I knew how to help, how to reach out to these students, but I feel paralyzed with helplessness.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day, and I found myself feeling nothing but anger. I drove home consumed by a dark cloud. I hate feeling helpless, I hate feeling like I can't address a situation, I hate uncertainty. And I know that through all this the Lord is teaching me I can't control every situation; I can't talk my way through every misunderstanding. Life is sometimes an opaque mess and the only clear, certain thing is my faith--knowing I can lean on Him.

I apologize for the cryptic nature of this post, but I can't really get into it on the internet (despite my "huge" fan base...Rachel, Rachel's mom, and my mom). I guess I write to ask for prayer--prayer for our students right now, prayer for our administration and teaching staff, and prayer to have the wisdom to think before I speak (a rather difficult thing for me).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Part III

It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, kids are back in school, Christmas stuff is up at major department stores, and my self-esteem is getting a good swift kick in the...well, you know.

These are comments heard over these last two weeks of school...

"Mrs. Parker, you're Chinese right?"

to which another student replied, "That's an insult to the Chinese." (He later explained he wasn't trying to be mean, it's just you can't go around assuming everyone is Chinese. Little pearls of wisdom.)

"Aren't you afraid your baby is going to be ugly?"

"Why do we always read books and write in this class?" (I know it IS shocking to participate in those activities in an English class.)

"Mrs. Parker, can I decorate your room next year?"

"Mrs. Parker, do you still own that ugly car?"

"I think Mrs. Parker is an introvert b/c she doesn't really like hanging out with people."

and my favorite, albeit not funny, phrase that I will never tire of hearing out of a high schooler's mouth:

"Do I have to do this assignment?"

Oh you?!! Nope, I'm sorry I wasn't thinking about you when I assigned this, just the rest of your classmates. My apologies, your Highness.