In case you all haven’t heard, I have a new job! 🙂
I’m going to be teaching third graders, and I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity.
As I scurry to study curriculum materials, locate tools and activities, and get things ready to set up my classroom, I find myself relearning a few things.
(I chuckled as I wrote the title on “relearning,” because one of the topics I’ve recently covered in my preparations are prefixes. And the prefix “re-” means “again”!) 😀
All of this has served as quite the reminder to me of what’s most important in the big scheme of things.
- Helmet of Salvation (devotional in ARMOR UP blog series)
- Breastplate of Righteousness (devotional in ARMOR UP blog series)
- Conquering Disappointment, Discouragement, and Despair (devotional)
- When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (devotional)
- Why I Know the Bible is True (devotional in TOUGH QUESTIONS blog series)
Relearning What’s Most Important
I’ve given a lot of thought to what I want my classroom rules to be.
To avoid confusion with too many rules, I’ve regrouped some rules into larger categorical rules. In that process, I’m relearning some life rules.
In the end it all comes down to what will have the biggest impact on my students.
While rules like “raise your hand to speak or leave your seat” are important in a class setting, the bigger rule of respecting others is one that will better serve them throughout life.
Relearning Life Rules
The life rules I’m relearning — or at least re-recognizing(?) as of utmost significance — are:
1. We all have work to do.
In the classroom that work is learning.
But the Lord, in His goodness and perfect plans, has work for all of us to do. Not just for ourselves, but for Him, His kingdom, and for the benefit of others as well.
2. Look out for the best interest of others.
We are all so prone to thinking primarily of ourselves, that it’s easy to forget our responsibility to look out for the welfare and best interest of others.
Jesus put it this way: “Love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Mark 12:31
Can you imagine the impact on the world if we did a better job of following this rule?
So much of the conflict and division we’re experiencing right now is because of people demanding their rights without consideration for the rights of others.
3. Respect those in authority.
Another huge problem in our society nowadays is a total disrespect for those in authority.
This happens in families, schools, communities, organizations, corporations, and nations.
We often forget that those in authority over us have a tough job (and one for which they will give an account).
I feel the heavy weight of the responsibility I have toward the students that will be under my charge. The buck truly does stop here!
This thought has helped me remember to have a greater respect for those over me, especially in times when I might disagree with their decisions.
More importantly, I’ve relearned (there’s that word again) the necessity of praying for them (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
4. Be responsible for yourself.
If I spent half as much time examining my own actions as I do the behavior of others, I might actually make some much-needed improvements!
One day we will all give an account for how we’ve lived our lives. In all truth, the only person we can control is ourselves. (And that’s often a struggle in and of itself. If you don’t believe me, just ask the donut — NOT on my diet plan, BTW — which has now taken up residence in my tummy!)
I’ve relearned that taking responsibility (and exercising self-control!) for myself, my actions, and my thoughts is something I need to do better (Matthew 7:5).
5. Keep a positive attitude.
Wow, was I ever convicted by this one.
The way we think impacts our lives for better or worse, depending on what we choose to dwell on.
It’s difficult to be all God created us to be without a good attitude!
But my heart is drawn to the story where Joshua and eleven other spies investigated the Promised Land.
GOD’S PROVISION & PRESENCE
Let’s not forget how they had just experienced the miraculous.
God performed magnificent signs and wonders to deliver them from the powerful enemy and task-master of Egypt.
He swept aside the waters of the Red Sea so they could walk through on DRY GROUND! Then those very same waters encompassed the chariots and armies of Egypt.
Throughout the trek through the wilderness, God faithfully provided food, water, shade from the blazing heat of the sun, and fire to warm them from the cold night temperatures of the desert.
In short, His Presence surrounded them!
God remained faithful, even in the midst of their rebellion, grumbling, and complaining. (NOT looking forward to that part of my new job!)
TWO DIFFERENT ATTITUDES
Then the spies arrived at the land God had already said would be theirs.
After forty days, they returned with this report: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit” (Numbers 13:27).
Yet despite the fruitfulness of this good land, the twelve spies reached two very different conclusions.
Only two out of the twelve — Joshua and Caleb — recommended advancing into the Promised Land. “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome” (Numbers 13:30).
Sadly, the majority focused on the problems rather than their Almighty God. “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we….and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight …” (Numbers 13:31-33).
What a difference between the “God is able” mentality of Joshua and Caleb (AKA faith) compared to the “grasshopper” mentality (AKA doubt) of the others.
See how attitude makes such a HUGE difference?
As I start this new adventure, please pray that I will always keep the most important things in the forefront of my mind so I might effectively lead these students to a successful year of learning. (And re-learning for me! HA!)
Some of you have asked if I will continue to write. The answer is “Yes, Lord willing.”
Of course, my priority right now is getting ready for the new school year. But as I settle into a routine, I do hope to continue writing.
In my “relearned” and hopefully-improved attitude, I’m trying to see the bright side of all things.
This new job will allow me to continue to make my books available for free, even if it means new books are more infrequent. (God’s will and His timing!!!) 🙂
Like me, you’ve probably heard the adage: “Everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten.”
Let me twist that around a bit to fit my current circumstances. “Everything I relearned, I relearned in Third Grade.” 🙂
May the LORD richly bless you all!