21 December 2013

Yep, I'm human

This post is prompted by this one, shared by a good friend and fellow blogger.

In sharing the post, she used this quote from the original article:

When we tell only of our achievements, we do harm in two ways.
First, we imply we're above failure and therefore better or more mature than they are. Second, we imply that they're inferior because they struggle over issues that don't trouble us.  (Cec Murphy, 20 December 2013)

She followed her quote with this comment:

Ouch! Advice for writers, but it applies not just to professional writers, but those of us on FB as well as missionaries who write news/prayer letters! (W Marshall 2013)

As I read it, I thought of the e-mails that I get addressed to me as a "hero" and I thought how so often I share the positive things that happen, but share little of the negatives. Now, I'm not saying that I shouldn't share the good things that happen, but by only writing about and sharing the good things, I'm painting myself in an unrealistic light. Let me tell you now, I'm human.

So, humour me, and keep reading as I share some of the things I struggle with.

People often tell me I'm a great teacher, and that's encouraging. Trouble is, I know the darker side to my teaching. I struggle daily with the need to be "in control". Now, at first you might think being "in control" is a good thing. It can be. We all need a hefty dose of self-control, especially where kids are concerned. Where the problem comes is when I "over-control" and fail to allow the students the freedom to learn in their own ways. Over the years I've learned to relinquish some of that control, and to allow my students more freedom, but I also know there are days when I blow it. This need to be "in control" has been part of the cause of a tough first semester this year. If you read this and pray for me, then please pray that I'll be able to relax that "control" a little in the coming semester.

Another thing I struggle with is "reacting". When things go wrong, and kids do things I'd rather they didn't, I react. Again, I've made some progress in this area, but I admit that this year there have been more "reactions", and particularly loud voiced reactions, than I'd like. I'm ashamed of this, but I also know that God knows me, and understands me, and as I confess this, He forgives me. If I was to put this in a prayer point, I'd ask you to pray that I would be more like Jesus in my reactions. He was gentle and loving in all His corrections.

Well, that's enough for one post. I'm human, but I won't bore you with any more struggles. I thank God for a caring, thoughtful, compassionate principal who has greatly helped me recognise these faults, and who patiently helps me to overcome them. I also thank God for his loving forgiveness in my struggles. Most of all, I thank Him that He loves me just as I am, that love is so great that it wants to help me change. Thanks Lord.

04 December 2013

My new buddy

I just discovered it's three months since I posted anything here! Oops. Sorry folks. Life's been hectic. This year's grade 4K is really challenging me. Looking at some strategies to implement after the Christmas break to see if we can turn things in the right direction. I feel a bit sorry for the kids who have been doing the right thing week after week, because they haven't been able to have the fun that my previous classes have earned, so I'm also working on something to fix that.

Meanwhile I was feeling so discouraged today, and just plain tired, as well as frustrated with intermittent internet problems that I went for a walk down to the local phone shop, got a new sim for 3G internet and then treated myself to something fun.

Meet my new buddy. I haven't got a name for her yet, but I think she's pretty cute. In addition to being cute, she also has the responsibility of protecting my phone on the odd occasion that it slips out of my hand and hits the ground.

I also decided that the bright pink would make my phone easier to find in the depths of my handbag! Having spent the huge amount of 10,000 riel (less than $3) at the phone shop, I decided to also treat myself to a "Mango Chiller". An icy cold drink on a cool day (everything's relative here) was just what I needed.

So, what do you think I should call my new buddy?