Change. I've been experiencing it at work and at home; in my professional life and my personal life. I didn't do well with change for years; then, I was drug through a horrendous change: a divorce and a dismantling of much that was familiar, safe, certain.
I learned to adapt, flex, change.
I leaned on God some, but more so on my parents' prayers, especially that direct line I believed my dad had with God--a privilege or more to the point a discipline I didn't have.
When my nephew suffered a devastating, life-changing stroke at the age of 31 in Malaysia (five years ago) and my brother told me on the phone that he needed Dad---he needed Dad to pray, I heard the helplessness and fear in his voice.
Dad was nowhere we could phone, drive, fly. . . go to. He was with God.
I emailed my brother later that I had come to realize that Dad didn't have an exclusive, direct line to God;
he just used the one that we all had. And that he and I simply needed to utilize it.
I got better at being in touch with God and turning to Him. But inevitably, I go through periods when my body weakens; exhaustion sets in, and I permit depression to make me feel alone.
Chicago city teachers went on strike awhile back. I found it interesting and somewhat amusing that one of the key issues they were fighting was the connecting of teachers' evaluations to students' scores.
I sat watching the news and said under my breath, "Welcome to my world."
I wished them luck, but wanted to tell them that eventually they will lose the fight.
After all, someone has to be held accountable for the lousy state of education in the United States
and who better to blame than the teachers and their 'misusing of power' unions?
Ohio is there. Next school year-the 2013/2014 school year--fifty percent of our evaluations will be based on our students' tests scores. Half.
I won't bog you down with all the situations we deal with like the parents who don't even make their kids come to school on a regular basis--who write sickness on excuses when they know it was really the latest X-box game or being out too late with the college boyfriend or at a party where of course there wasn't alcohol (yeah, right, and I'm Queen Elizabeth). That's just a sample.
Yet those same kids will help determine how good I am at my job.
Our school district is part of the Race to the Top initiative and another one that has an acronym
I can rarely remember and can never remember what it stands for.
So we have been working steadily towards this day for several years.
But working towards it and having it looming over you are two different things.
I have deadlines now that must be met or I will be called on the carpet.
One such deadline is a 23 page booklet in which I account for how I am teaching every required standard.
So the kids' essays will sit and wait while I write down just exactly what I am teaching and how I am teaching it. I thought that was what we do in lesson plans in which we state the standards we are meeting.
They (the board) can't not non-renew me yet, but they can have a looong memory.
That is what is weighing on my heart, mind, soul. There is a new test "a'comin" that has mostly nonfictional writings in the reading test.
Since when did literature become solely nonfictional?
How do I justify To Kill a Mockingbird
or Of Mice and Men?
And poetry? That is being fazed out in the new tests.
Also all units have to have a pretest and posttest,
and there will be an SLO (Student Learning Objective) that will be a major part of the final measurement
of my students' learning and thus my evaluation and worth.
But I cannot create that SLO myself. Noooo.
I must do it with my team of one other English teacher--the young woman who believes her way is always right and who does not want to work with anybody.
(I'm not sure she'd collaborate with Jesus were He to walk in her room and sit down. ----I'm not joking.)
So I spend my day off due to our Veterans' sacrifices
trying to wade through the red tape that is due this week.
Change. I was getting fairly good at it.
Not so good any more.
Today's devotional in 100 Days of Grace for Women
"Every day that we live, we mortals encounter a multitude of changes----some good, some not so good.
And on occasion, all of us must endure life-changing personal losses that leave us breathless. When we do, our loving Heavenly Father stands ready to protect us, to comfort us, to guide us, and in time, to heal us. . . God is far bigger than any problem you may face. So, instead of worrying about life's inevitable challenges, put your faith in the Father and His only begotten Son: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever' (Hebrews 13:8). And rest assured: It is precisely because your Savior does not change that you can face your challenges with courage for this day and hope for the future."
Ahhh, if it were as easy as it sounds.
Here's Monday's Prayer from the same book:
Our world is constantly changing.
When I face the inevitable transitions of life, I will turn to You
for strength and assurance.
Thank You, Father, for love that is unchanging and everlasting.
Blessings to you as you go through this week
and thanks for listening.