24 July 2010

Learning from the past to build a future that glorifies God

Today I received some information that I had been waiting about 3 months to receive. It was one parent's perspective on my classroom, as she saw it through her child's experiences & expressions. I was glad to receive it, as it allowed me to see how someone else saw my classroom, and I have to say that I didn't like what they saw. I already knew about some of their concerns, and I thought that I had made changes in my teaching practice to address those concerns. I also recognise that there is room for more to change. There were some practical things which I could do something about, and with God as my helper I will change those things. There were also some things written which, if someone who didn't know me read the letter, could lead the person to think I was a cruel, heartless, inflexible and disorganised teacher who shouted at her students all day every day. Trust me when I say I'm not, and I don't but unfortunately that seems to be how I came across to this person. I know the letter was written with the intent of improving the situation, but that it could very easily be misinterpreted in this way. It did provide me with a reminder that we all perceive things differently, and that I need to be mindful not only of my intentions but also of other's perceptions, and to consider how others might interpret my words and actions, so that God can be glorified in my classroom.

As I contemplate my future, in a new school, with a new principal, new colleagues and new students (to me), I pray that God will work in my life so that I can be the teacher He wants me to be. In considering the information I received  today, along with other information I had already received, I spent time exploring the Internet to seek information that might help me change. Some of the issues raised relate to my personality, and so I explored information about MBTI that might help me better understand who I am, and why I operate the way I do, as well as some ways that I can change. Some things I found were helpful, and others weren't, but I know that God will continue to lead me in the areas I need to change. I also know that it is God who changes us, and that if I submit to Him more fully, then change will happen.

I love teaching, and I love my students, and several people have told me that they can clearly see a teacher's heart and passion in me. Unfortunately I haven't been so good at showing this to my students in ways that they understand. Pray with me that I will do this. I believe that God has given me a second chance! He is the God of second chances, and it is my heartfelt desire to take this chance and use it to glorify Him in all that I do.

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