I have a confession to make: I have not been myself lately. I’ve felt bitter about being given three preps (plus a new advisory), just as two were becoming manageable. My feedback for others has been four parts criticism to one part encouragement. When I redirect students, it’s less values-driven and more “you do what I say, or else.” I rated a substitute teacher poorly for not following the lesson I left, instead of considering that I could have made the lesson more substitute-friendly. Whenever my roommates ask how I’m doing, I respond with a sigh and a laundry list of tasks I have to do and reasons why they should feel sorry for me.
Need I go on?
It’s not that my kids aren’t learning (they are), or that I’m not improving (I am), or that I don’t have a life outside of teaching (I do… sort of). But given the million things I need to juggle in my head simultaneously in order to teach effectively, it has become easy to forget to think about the source of true joy, about the One who called me to this work in the first place.
So even though it’s late, and I’m tired, I’m recommitting to being myself again. No matter what else happens, I refuse to let my mind wander very far from the God who sustains me and gives me purpose. I will cultivate a heart of gratitude, and I will recognize that the good in my life vastly outweighs the bad, regardless of immediate circumstances. I will become a living example of Philippians 4:8 — “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”