Quitting is not something I take pride in….For it is my nature to finish what ever I start. However, when is comes to teaching, after 10 years this decision was necessary.
So let’s start from the beginning, shall we….At the 5 year mark in my teaching career I felt that it was time for a change..There was a consistent tug toward something new. But fear had often been my gatekeeper. It consistently stood in the doorway of my success, blocking any opportunities for me to get ahead as I passively allowed it…
Fear has been very paralyzing for me throughout much of my journey. But, this year I determined in my mind I had enough. No longer would I allow it to taunt me, and deny me of reaching my full potential….. or merely exploring other possibilities.
For it led me to believe that I couldn’t do anything else, strive for anything greater, or even believe God at the level of his capability. There’s such power in fear that it has the ability to rule your thoughts, filter your actions, therefore ruling your world.
Over the years I convinced myself that I could just make it work….That if I just gave my best effort, things would get better.. But, they never did…
After 7 years in the teaching field, God uprooted me to good ole Texas, where I would start my first year teaching in Houston public schools. I got hired at a job fair in North Carolina, which was all God, but I’ll save that story for another time. My first year in Texas was challenging, but God was faithful. For the first time in my career I got “Teacher of the Year,” which was so unexpected..
But, it seems that after my first year things took a turn for the worse. Nothing but stress built up and a bitterness toward the profession began to develop.. I recall on several occasions driving in to work, to only sit in my car dreading what was ahead. I knew my day would just be filled with more disciplinary accounts, than all the ah hah teachable moments I had spent hours planning for. Teaching was no longer fun.. It had become this paced system of how to teach “Johnny” how to stay in his seat, and not tear the class materials off of the stands.. The redundancy of having to frequently correct student behavior with very limited support eventually led me to a place of self- evaluation.
I wanted to figure out how I could fix it. How I could become better so that in turn my students would be better. I tried to find new and innovative ways to help and support my students. I tried to become whatever they needed, in an effort to promote growth. But, it was still to no end. It only caused more stress and I was left feeling depleted.
But then comes fall retreat with my church.. Funny thing is, I’ve been told a time or two, that church retreats have the ability to impact change in such a way that you come one way, but leave different. Well this time the difference was made in me.
I recall one of the leaders sharing the notion of setting an expectation for this retreat…and to set them high; To place them at the forefront of our minds and allow God to do the work needed.
After she said that it was like something came alive in me. I began to pray for clarity on my job situation and whether I should continue on in the field of teaching or allow God to lead me down another path.
As faithful as God is, he spoke loud and clear. Throughout retreat were echoes of “Faith” embedded in all of the messages we heard. The first message was titled “Step Out!” The next, “Do I trust God? vs Will I trust him?” Lastly, to close out the last day of retreat were 5 speakers who all blessed me. But, the first one was the most significant. She spoke all about fear and how we must overcome it. The scripture text that coincided with this message was Deuteronomy 31:8
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
With that in mind, I knew what I had to do…I will forever write that scripture on the journal of my heart. I am taking God at his word! He won’t fail.
Can’t wait to see what’s next! #excitedaboutthejourney