I know that you know what song I am talking about. Just in case you are way too young to have heard of this song, it’s called “Take This Job and Shove It”. I didn’t list it in my title because it is slightly rude, and of course, we would never have rude thoughts like that, my teacher friends.
It is easy to see what brought you to this point. I cried on my ride home from school Friday afternoon. I am at a good school–I really don’t think I had a reason to cry, but I needed an emotional release. it is all so much–the kids, discipline, test scores, data, standards, blah, blah, blah. We all need an emotional release, and a good cry is not bad.
Non teachers have no idea. Believe me, I know that other professions have problems also. My husband is a minister, so we hear many different scenarios: things are tough all over.
Let’s consider some things that can be amazingly irritating and can lead you to start humming this familiar song:
- Every lady that you’ve encountered lately is a lady who doesn’t have to work. I have been able to stay home, work part time and raise babies at one time, so I am very happy for anyone who can do that. This is one of those things that is different for all of us, and God leads on what and how our life path goes. But now that you and I are on the same page, let’s just say that you are having a bad teaching day. Let’s just say that one of your sweeties wants to be a dog and will do NOTHING BUT BARK. Not that this has ever really happened…
- Let’s just say that your friends at church Sunday morning said, “Hey, do y’all want to meet up for lunch one day?” You’ll be eating peanut butter and crackers or not eating at all in your 2.5 minutes that you get for lunch.
- One too many people says, “Well, you teachers only work 9-10 months out of the year.” This doesn’t make me to go my happy place. This makes me go to this place: how about getting up with me at 5 am, getting to school at 7:30, letting me hand you my textbook and the lesson plans that go with it–oh, wait, that was none–and tell you to teach those standards that cover the wall in my room. This comment makes me want to welcome this person to my classroom that has most times, contained many, many more students than 25, and say ‘Ok, well, good luck” as I walk out the door, leaving this person behind. My last comment might be, “Oh, and I don’t have a curriculum or text book for this class, so do the best that you can. You can rest 8 months from now. ” See what I mean? This is definitely not my happy place. Again, I am at a great school, totally blessed, but some things are common among schools all over.
So enough of what the problem is–let’s talk solutions.
- Don’t compare. God has you where He wants you. If He wants you somewhere else, He will move you.
- Be consistent, persistent and do what you need to make it better. What perks can you give yourself during the day or after school that might lift your spirits?
- You are not the only one. We are all in this together.
- It could be worse. There are some jobs that I would never want.
- Get rid of your pride. In teaching, my pride can get in the way. When I have had a bad day, I take it personally. It is not personal. That little one that wanted to be a dog all day doesn’t dislike you; just the opposite is probably true. It’s a strange problem of hers of the canine persuasion. Who knows??? Don’t let these things hurt your feelings.
Now let’s think: does God’s Word have any help on this? Of course it does. We must dwell on the truth of God’s Word and not the things that the enemy wants us to think or believe. Those are the thoughts that come naturally. We must fight to dwell on truth. Otherwise, it’s like trying to go through Hell with a water gun. (That quote courtesy of Melinda Stewart, one of my wonderful girlfriends)
Consider Job. In chapters 1 & 2, his life totally changed, all bad. Throughout Job, he questions God. “God, where are you? Why me, God? Answer me, God. Make this better.” God is silent. We interpret silence as God not being there. He is. His ways are not our ways. That’s a good thing since so many of my ways have me and what benefits me and only me at the heart of them. Check out the latter part of Job where God did speak up. He basically asked Job, “Where were you when I created everything? If you know so much Job, you tell me how the universe all came together.” In essence God was saying that maybe, just maybe He knows something we don’t. Humbling if you think about that thought.
There are many other characters in God’s Word that know a thing or two about being in situations that were less than desirable. King David was a mess of his own making sometimes and at other times, not. Read some of his words from Psalm. As you are praying, pray these back to God, making these heart cries, your heart cries:
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
“Lord, you are my refuge…”
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
“Lord, I will get some rest in peace…”
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
“Lord, I will cast my cares on you. You will sustain me. Because of you, I will never be shaken.”
All of Psalm 55 is good.
Remember when God is working, the enemy is plotting. But those of you who are my brothers and sisters in Christ, we are not afraid of a chihuahua when the Doberman Pincher has our back. If you don’t know my best friend Jesus, consider a personal relationship with Him today. I wouldn’t want to go into that classroom without Him. Here is a link that tells more about a relationship with Jesus.
Here is a video of the song “Thou, Oh Lord” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It is a more formal choir song, but I love it! Enjoy.
Praying for you, my friend