Teaching is not taught in high school, but when one chooses to pursue this vocation, those classes are readily available. Once I signed up for teaching with students who have disabilities, it was as if God gave me the job. I knew this is exactly what I was to do, and I had so much experience working with that population already. Many friends encouraged me, but those who were in the field already gave me a big warning.
The warnings seemed to be giving me pause. “What is so difficult about teaching, anyway?” After 4 years of experience, the day in and day out of writing IEP’s, developing a non-existent curriculum, grading papers, testing, and then the actual act of teaching comes with a lot of great rewards: endurance, patience, joy, and gratitude. This profession encompasses many of the spiritual gifts that the Spirit helps me to receive. Is it trying? Absolutely. Yet, how can I grow into the woman God made me to be unless there is some pain along the way?
Have you ever been on a run, and then started to breathe heavy? When – not if – that happens, it is a sign that the body is being challenged physically and as a result, adapts to the workout. I would never workout if I never felt some sort of pain and believed that was the proof that I needed to stop.
Yet, the teacher turnover is very high. To be honest, I’ve doubted continuing in this profession more times than I can count.
There are many classes and conferences for behavior management, how to teach your students best writing practices, and helping students with reading (as well as math, science, and social studies). Although they may not address endurance or patience, these classes and conferences help take one more step forward.
Colossians 1:11: “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.”