Through this week, I have learned several things. First, students can live up to the expectations that are held of them. My students knew what was expected of them this week, and even though it was difficult, they met and even exceeded those expectations. I'm not a huge believer of rewarding everything that kids do, but this week I made sure they were "rewarded" for their outstanding work. Also, had some of those expectations not been in place throughout the year, my guess is that these days would not have gone as smoothly as they did. Although difficult, setting those expectations and following through on them throughout the year really makes life easier in the long run. Yeah for my class! (By the way, I am not saying that they did so well all because of me! They really did a phenomenal job, and I know that I just had a part in that.)
Second, I am such a type-A personality. I always knew that, but I am not the extreme type-A that others are. Having a week that is generally unplannable and uncontrollable is difficult for a person like me. I am very structured, planned, and like my routines. I don't mind being flexible, but it is definitely more difficult for me. We talked a lot about going with the flow. I like to have a plan, to know what the plan is and how it will be carried out, and then I like to be in control during that time. My principal says that almost all teachers are that way...that's why we became teachers. We can plan and control our days! So this week was a challenge for myself (part of the reason for the dread of it!), but it went so well. It makes me grateful for someone like Kevin who keeps me balanced!
Third, my personality struggles with others who are so different from my own. There is no surprise there as we all struggle with various people, but there were many tense moments this week among people at school (between many others, not just myself). These sorts of weeks bring out the best and worst in people, and my eyes were opened to many things. Because of who I am and the way I think about things, I cannot fathom how some people respond to the same situation but in an extremely different way that makes no sense to me. I found myself just going home to vent to Kevin in my sheer frustration. I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time yesterday when two people went at it, and I realized that I'm not the only one who feels this way. That was comforting but again not surprising. My mom used to always joke and say that if everyone were perfect like us that we wouldn't have these problems! Oh, how true. Obviously I realize this is stupid and that God has created us all different for great reasons, but it was just such a challenge this week.
As I still struggle with the inability to plan and control my future, I continue to learn and relearn that it is best that I cannot do those things because God's plan is so much better than my own. I ask how he can do the impossible, but that's who God is...the God of the impossible. I ask how he can provide and meet needs, and he shows me last night that he does that on a daily basis for all of us. He meets us where we are and shows us who he is. What an incredible thing that is! I realize that being open and vulnerable to your friends allows God to show you things through their lives as well.
So thank you dear friend for being open and vulnerable to me and then letting me be there just hours later to see how God has met your needs. You are a blessing to me!
Hebrews 12:1-3, New Living Translation:
“…And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up.”
May we continually fix our eyes on Jesus!