I have been so busy getting ready for school to begin next week! It seems like time has sped up this week with Teacher Orientation, finding last-minute school supplies, and getting back into some kind of routine after having the summer off. Part of me is really excited to start the new school year, while part of me is lamenting having to say goodbye to sleeping in any more. But God is good, as always! Let me explain.........
When I walked into the meeting room Tuesday morning, I was informed that first grade would be changing classrooms; in fact, they would be taking mine! Now, I know the room doesn't actually belong to me, and I really only taught there one year if you don't count tutoring Dale there last year. But it felt mine; it had all my teacher supplies in it; and everyone referred to it as my classroom. So, when Bro. Minge told me it was no longer mine, I had to make quite an effort to paste a smile on my face and agree to move my stuff out. This left me with quite a forlorn feeling---suddenly, I had nowhere to go, nowhere to put my purse in the mornings, nowhere to call my own. And I knew this was coming. I knew that my ability to teach again was contingent on Dale's ability to attend regular classes. And, of course, I knew that every piece of my life was in the hands of the Father to do with as He willed. But, oh, how I wanted to have a pity party right there! I wanted to cry and wail and declare how unfair life was. Really---what good would that have done? I sat through the first day of orientation and participated in each activity with a breaking heart. I have been praying steadily that God would show me what He wants me to do. If teaching is out, then He has something else for me. If Dale is never "normal," then He has something else in store for his life. You see? God has a definite purpose for each of us, and His plans are always good. Whether we have ease and comfort here on earth or wait until Heaven to be at home, God has a specific plan for us.
Bro. Minge had also said that he wanted us to talk later that day about Dale and his progress and the coming school year. We didn't get to meet until about 2:30 that afternoon. I had prepared a short list to remind me of what I needed to discuss with him, mainly about Dale. We hammered out a game plan for Dale's schooling: we will put Dale in regular classes to begin with and see how well he adjusts to school life again. I think (and hope and pray!) that Dale will be able to keep up in his classes for the most part. There may be some need to have him finish a test later under my supervision if he doesn't finish in class, and I will definitely need to be on top of his homework assignments and quiz/test schedule to help him study the night before (or sooner!). I think he will do fine in history, science, and English; math is the only subject Dale may fall behind in since he still tends to take longer to complete a lesson than the standard class hour. He may surprise us, though, and blossom under his new teachers. And that will be a big plus---getting away from "just Mom" and having real teachers, a real classroom, real classmates, and real responsibilities. This school year will be great for Dale as he takes these important steps toward re-entering his interrupted life.
The second biggest item Bro. Minge and I discussed was what I would be doing during the school day. The first few weeks will be spent making sure Dale fits back into classes well, but the responsibility of that will lie on his teachers' shoulders. Bro. Minge said he would task a couple of older students (guys) to be responsible to get Dale to/from his classes with ease; this way I don't have to interrupt my schedule to wait outside his classroom each time and shuttle him to the next class. It will take some doing, but the result will be worth it! What I will be doing is one step closer to teaching than I had hoped for: assistant teacher. I get to be in the combined third/fourth grade class under my good friend, Mrs. Tina O'Connor, and assist her in any way she needs. We are already planning for me to teach the Bible lesson each morning and supervise break times each day. Bro. Minge also stated that he wants the classes split as much as possible with me taking the third grade students to a separate room to conduct lessons (reading, history, maybe science, health) with the goal of splitting the classes for good next year. So, I have the fun of teaching each day without the drudge of entering grades or making lesson plans! :-) Whoo-hoo! I also get to observe another teacher (a good one!) in action and learn valuable tips from her. This will be good for my patience and submissiveness........that is, if I have any! I'm looking forward to this year as a year of personal growth and refining to be "fit for the Master's hand."
Praise the Lord for everything He does and all that He allows us to do. Praise God for His miraculous healing of Dale and the wonderful plan He has for my son---and for all of us. I love You, Father. You are faithful and true.
Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, 31 "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"