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27.02.2014

As a teacher, this is how I envision myself.I'd like to think that, like an Olympic torch bearer, I am beckoning all hopefuls to follow the flame as I dutifully lead them to the place of dream-realization.Unfortunately, this is a more realistic picture.When I went into this profession, I honestly believed that I would be the teacher to make a difference. I would inspire adolescents to love learning, and they would look back on their education and hallowedly speak my name as The One who made all the difference.Nobody told me that the reality would be slightly different, with me admonishing the same 14 year old three days in a row for failing to bring a pencil, or that I would slump in my chair at the final bell wondering just why I thought I was cut out for this. Nobody explained that the kid in all black would cry out for attention in ways I had never seen. Nobody said that my heart would break when my student's mother died while he was in my class.Teaching, in case you don't know, is not always leading a charge with a flame. It is pulling your charges towards a pinprick of...

11.02.2014

Just in case you ever want to ruin the morning of a perfectly good snow day, all you have to do is this:1. Wake your seven year old daughter (who went to bed later than she should have the previous night) and inform her that she has a dentist appointment.2. Attempt to dress said seven year old daughter as she thrashes about and wails, "But I just wanna go back to sleeeeeppp!"3. Then wake your eight year old son and tell him he has to tag along to the dentist - repeating what you said one more time, louder, so he can hear you over the dramatic protests from the room across the hall.4. Drive to the dentist, through the snow, wishing you were back home in your warm bed.5. Pretend to be happy at the dentist's office when the receptionist asks you to update paperwork. Think, "It's not personal. Insurance requirements. Grin and bear it."6. Enthusiastically usher your increasingly-nervous daughter to the back where the poor hygienist is waiting and has no idea what she is about to face.7. Hold your precious second-born as tears well up in her eyes at the announcement that all six-year molars are in...

01.02.2014

This is not a feminist post. Yes, I believe that women should be paid the same as men for performing the same jobs. I believe women should become more interested in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields (and I just spent nearly an entire class period talking with my 9th graders about this issue). I would love to see a female become President, and I would readily admit that many women I know are much more intellectual than many men I know. But a feminist? I wouldn't lump myself in that category.I believe that if a woman wants to forego a career and remain home with her children, then not only can she, but she should. I would without hesitation say that the greatest part of my own life takes place after the hours I am paid, when I am home with my children. I am forever grateful for the women in previous generations who have made it possible for me to participate as a first-rate citizen in society doing things like, oh - I don't know, voting and getting a job. A feminist, though? Probably not.That being said, I'd like to take a minute to share my thoughts...

31.01.2014

If someone tells you something over 900 times, it stands to reason that failing to believe it means you are remarkably in denial, you are being lied to, or you are ridiculously stubborn. I'm putting myself in the first and third categories because I know my husband is not a liar.For at least the past 20 years, I have struggled every single day with a thorn in my flesh that I desperately wish I could pluck out. I'm bringing it up here today not to glorify the struggle or to give Satan satisfaction in the battles he has won, but simply to encourage those of you who are facing similar lifelong battles. I want you to know that you are not alone. Your deepest insecurities have likely become a deeply ingrained part of yourself, but I want - need - to remind you that they are not your identity. It can be shameful as a follower of Christ to war so with the flesh, so today I'm issuing a call to other women to fight the battle, verbalize the struggle, and give Christ the credit rather than Satan the shame.My thorn? I have not once in the past 20 years...