Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Confessions of a multi-grade teacher.

Each weekday morning I take a postured stance as I read the morning devotions. I appear confident and prepared. I have used my 5 years of post secondary education to effectively routine my 9 eager students. I have laboured throughout the weekend structuring a productive week of lessons. I have organized each of the grade work and each subject is laid out with corresponding activities and response questions. I am efficient. I am ready.
Seems pretty straight-forward, right?
And yet behind the poised teacher image, there is a girl who feels quite in over her head. My well-articulated responses and instructions are just a modest attempt in convincing my students that I know what I am doing. As we dive into our work for the day, I scramble around from math patterning, to letter recognition, to science terminology to printing drills, and then back again. All the while I question if we are really getting anywhere. My students are looking to me for leadership, and sometimes I wonder why.
This week as been the first official school 'work' week, and it has not been easy.
To state the obvious, there is one of me and nine of them... Not the easiest thing to balance.
We are still lacking a classroom, so the resources we have are in a chaotic heap inside the spare room apartment, making any simple task quite lengthy as we wade through glue sticks, chapter books and calculators trying to find a long lost ruler or thesaurus.
It's frustrating, and I am easily discouraged by the fact that it's already the last week of September and we've barely skimmed the surface.
As I sat in the quiet before school started this morning, I gazed out beyond the mission gate to the mountains. The morning haze was still lingering, so the effect was quite stunning. The Haitian mountains are probably one of my favorite things about this home. The beauty that can be viewed just around the corner of my apartment is breathtaking. And yet mountains have a lot to teach us. I know I've blogged about mountains before, but I need to do it again for my own sake. The reason for this is that this morning as took in the beauty of the mountains, I also had a very daunting pile of student workbooks in front of me. My mountain.
I have high expectations for myself. I have high expectations for my students. I want this school year to be the best they ever had. I want them to learn skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. I want to impress God's love on their hearts. I want them to be challenged and encouraged and believe that they can make their dreams a reality. This year has so much potential, and yet this role that I am honoured to take - training tomorrow's leaders, doesn't come without fear and uncertainty. What if we can't make it? I just don't want to let anybody down.
I am beginning to realize that there comes a point when my ability stops. No matter how thoroughly I've planned or how high-esteemed my pre-service training reputation is, there comes a point where I simply have to lift up my hands and surrender. Turn all of my hopes and dreams and efforts to the Lord and let Him take over. When I do this, and only then, can I experience true peace - knowing that He will accomplish His will in my life and the lives of my kids. He knows the desires of my heart, and just like last year, He will refine and break me and provide in ways I never dreamed so that the only thing left to do is give all of the glory to Him.

I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, Maker of heaven, Creator of the earth.

He made the mountains. He made the valleys.
And for this I know, He will lead me through.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Well Diana, it is evident that you are very conscientious about doing the best job you can and you will! You're also right in saying, it won't be because you have a great teaching reputation or great grades in University BUT as God makes you strong. Keep strong, praying each day through as your feet reach the floor in the morning. I will keep praying for you too. May God make Himself clearly known to you today.