Monday, November 15, 2010

A Down Day in Subbing

Last friday I substitute taught in a 6th grade Special Education classroom.

My heart was so disheartened by what I encountered during that time.

I had four class periods....two of those are basically one math class, split into two periods of the day, for these special education students who are pretty low at math. I get that these kids all have IEP's (Individual Learning Plans) and why they qualify for special education is not something I'm allowed to know.

This I do know: they are all individuals who deserve a shot to excel as much as they are capable of. They are not to be told what they can and cannot achieve, and they deserve to be respected as the individuals they are.

They were a little bit difficult....that's what happens when you have a mix of 6th graders, who are special education, who have had a sub for the second day in a row, who respond to things a little bit differently.

But what's sad is what's sad is what I witnessed.

I don't claim to be great but I claim to be pretty darn good at working with kids. I relate to them, I know how to interact with them, and I understand how to get down to their level. I feel for them, I have empathy towards their disadvantages, and I find joy in them.

But these are the things I witnessed that made my heart break:

1. One of the first things the other special education teacher who taught the math class with me said to me was "Mrs. F is obviously not going to be writing any letters to Harvard for this group." How sad that he, as a special education teacher, has the nerve to put limits on any child let alone these kids. They need their teachers to push them to keep reaching beyond what others think their limits are, not define them! You don't tell a kid what they are and are not capable of, that they will dare you!

2. The same said teacher had the nerve to playing push a kids head. Excuse me. You don't touch children.

3. The way he was talking to them made me so mad. You don't talk to children like they are dumb! They aren't dumb. You don't call them names to their face. You don't talk about the kid in front of them. No! You just don't do that.

4. It really made me sad that I was in there for one day, and able to explain pre-algebra math in a way that they could understand that they hadn't been able to before. Not even that...these kids don't know how to do multiplication or division...and I was able to start successfully teaching it to them in ONE DAY!! I'm not good at math. But how sad is it that I can teach these kids and reach them in a manner that their normal teachers can't.

5. One kid, named Jacob, has behavior problems. The teacher had warned me via sub plans that he might be troublesome. Yes he was, he wanted to push limits. But by working with him just a little bit one-on-one, and by giving him a couple positive comments, I was able to control that behavior. What the heck does that say about the teacher who is normally there?!?! Not very much that's for sure.

You just have to treat kids with respect, like they are human. You have to be positive towards them, establish limits and boundaries and stick to them. You have to push them to excel, not tell them how they will fail.

It just broke my heart :-(

Monday, November 08, 2010

Perfectness of His Plan

It would be a huge understatement to say that I know how to make myself messy in so many ways. Every time I think I finally have a little bit of it figured out and cleaned up, well somehow I get myself in an even bigger tight spot. How uncanny is my ability to do that!!

Without going into the specifics, God's perfect plan is slowly being revealed to me. He is giving me ALL the tools to get out of the mess that I have put myself in.

But as I was looking at the weave of this mess and all the tools/opportunities He has given me, I started to realize the power of God's planning in my life for the entirety of my life.

See this is what I realized: God knows me better than I know myself. He made me. And with that, He knew the mistakes I would make before I even made them. Before He even lovingly planted me in my mother's womb, He knew my heart, He knew ME! He knew what I would be like. He knew at the age of 23 I would be where I'm at thanks to my own doing. And since the day I was born, he has weaved this very intricate plan into my life, a plan to take care of me and get me through my tough times.

I can look back on people in my life, in events in my life, that have specifically led to this point. The perfect web that He has created is remarkable!! I can look at events that I was so confused about happening or not happening these past two years and I now understand the multitude of reasons why.

I was looking back at my life, and I can recognize God's hands in all areas of my life. Of how He led me perfectly to my blessings and to my trials. How He has always been there and has had his Hand on me. I can see specifically when He knew I would take the wrong path and the events that guided me back to right paths. And I understand that when I willingly chose those wrong paths, I can recognize huge spiritual lessons that He taught me during those times....although I will admit it's been from reflection over the past few years that I have come to recognize and name those lessons and learn from them.

In thinking over all of this, I started letting the tears flow in the shower and found myself crying out of joy that my Lord knows me SO much better than even I know myself and has taken care of me so well. I have so much to be thankful for, despite the trials I am going through now as I know I am taken care of, even when it doesn't feel like it.

It's so relieving to know that if I just keep faith in Christ, He is going to lead me down some amazing roads in life and is going to use me in ways I can't even begin to imagine! I just hope that I can keep my eyes on the prize, which is my relationship with the Lord and the glory being lifted up to Him in all facets of my life.

With that being said, there is this really good song that I came across last night that is such a huge part of my testimony right now in life. This song has been touching my heart for the past day and I love the raw truth of this song :-)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fuckin Perfect

This is a song by Pink that speaks to the heart of so many women. I love it :-) Follow the link to listen to the song....and pasted below are the lyrics.

Made a wrong turn, once or twice, dug my way out, blood and fire, bad decisions, that's alright, welcome to my, silly life. Mistreated misplaced, misunderstood, Miss 'Knowing its all good', it didn't slow me down, mistaken, always second guessing, underestimating look, I'm still around.

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're f*cking perfect to me!

You're so mean, when you talk, about yourself, you were wrong.
Change the voices in you're head, make them like you instead.
So complicated, look how we big you'll make it, feeling so much hatred, such a tired game. Its enough of don;t know I can think of, chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're f*cking perfect to me!

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear, the only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer, so cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and its a waste of my time, done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere, they dont like my jeans they don't get my hair, exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time, why do we do that? why do I do that? why do I do that?

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me. You're Perfect, Your perfect! pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

One Blog, Two Blogs

As if I didn't have enough going in my life, I started a little project for myself that will hopefully help me in getting a positive and uplifted attitude back, and something that I am secretly hoping can become a benefit for others.

Call me crazy but I need SOME part of my life to have a positive impact on others, so if I push myself in growing and learning and getting back to my attitude, and give myself an outlet to help motivate that and help me in that process....well I figured I would give it a try.

So I started another blog!

I'm not quite sure exactly how I want it to look yet. But I do know that it has every week I will change the "Whisper of Encouragement" and the "Weekly Verse" along with writing what God is teaching and laying on my heart. I am by no means a writer and an evangelist like Diana Hummell was but I am hoping that maybe this blog can reach others, not by showing that I have an amazing faith (like Diana did) but by showing that I too am like many other Christians struggling to figure out what purpose and plan God has for their life. I want to show that like many others out there I am struggling constantly with the notion of self-worth and how it pertains to our earthly life and also to our relationship with our Father. I want to show that like many others in this world, some of us face struggles and have a hard time figuring out up from down, left from right, and dark from light.

I am hoping that this blog will challenge it will push me to keep reading my bible to find a weekly verse, one that speaks to me. It will push me to really dig deep and try to understand what lesson God is putting me through and to find out if I'm learning that lesson or if I'm failing yet again at trying to understand what it is God is trying to tell me.

If for nothing else, it can be a little project to help distract me from the negative emotions that are consuming my life as of late. It will distract me from the feelings of worthlessness and of depression (which yes I am fighting right now). It can help me to focus on what's important.

More than anything I think we all need to leave a legacy. I don't expect to leave a legacy with this blog but I hope for once maybe I can make a small impact.

So here is the blog's simple.

It's nothing fantastic, just a little project that I hope can help others. Check back later as I am just trying to get the ball rolling....and of course, my life is crazy busy. But we'll see what happens with it!!