JennieGScott.com - Page 15 of 18 - Enjoying the Journey
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14.01.2015

There are two words that more accurately describe being a working adult than any others in the English language: perpetually exhausted.I'm just tired, y'all. Like 'I could go to bed at 5:00 p.m. and not wake up until noon the next day' tired. Or 'if I sit still for more than 30 seconds, I'll fall out' tired. Also known as 'if my husband has the remote and watches the riveting show Treehouse Masters, I'll be snoring in 8 seconds.'  (Funny story: autocorrect just corrected snoring to scoring. Um, no. I'm too tired.)What has happened to me and my formerly energetic self? Work. That's what. And children and bills and responsibilities. Back before my hair turned gray and my knees cracked when I walked up stairs, I could stay awake past 8:00 p.m. with nary a yawn. I could be awake for 4 hours without praying 'please Jesus, let me put my head on this desk for 5 minutes with nobody noticing.' I used to want to go places and do things. Now I just want to go to bed. And do unconscious....

12.01.2015

So apparently I can't even go shopping without Jesus getting in the middle of it.My husband and I went away for the weekend to celebrate his birthday (and coincidentally had one of the best weekends ever - sometimes you just have to suck it up and pay the money to get away from the laundry and dust bunnies that haunt you if you stay home.) We ate a delicious meal and inhaled incredible cheesecake.Then we decided we'd do some shopping. As we walked around the mall, I was simply overwhelmed. Everywhere I looked were fancy stores with incredibly expensive items. And to be honest, I wanted some of them. Or many of them. The consumer in me wanted to buy some of the designer clothes to bring my Pinterest closet to life. The stuff was beautiful. But y'all. It was expensive.Maybe it's because we weren't at the mall that we usually go to and I was seeing designer stores that I usually don't see, but I just felt really sad. I picked up a pair of sandals - the same brand that some of my 9th grade girls wear - and the price tag was $385. For sandals. Don't get me...

19.11.2014

Sometimes we inadvertently reveal in our speech what is really hidden in our hearts. Case in point: today on Christian radio, I listened to a woman talk about how, as a schoolteacher, God has blessed her this year with a good class. A teacher myself, I understand the 'blessing' of a good class, but as a word person, I started thinking about what she really meant. Her well-behaved class is easier to manage and teach than an unruly one, so she ultimately sees it as good. Good, for most people who call themselves Christians, is equivalent to blessing. Good = blessing. Good = easy? Good = what we desire? Good = the life we want? If God blesses us with 'good' things, does that mean He curses us with bad? From a whole lot of Scripture and a whole lot of personal experience, I can tell you unequivocally that God does not curse us who are His children. He does not send us the "bad" as the opposite of the blessing. In actuality, the 'bad' often is - or leads to - the blessing itself.The hard situations of life - the challenging times, the difficult people, the situations we can't change or fix...

16.11.2014

I never imagined the response I would get to a simple question posed on social media. I simply asked, "What do you think keeps people from doing what they would love to do and being who/what they'd love to be?" Apparently I struck a nerve - people sent me their responses electronically and told me their stories in person, and I was relieved because of what I felt was confirmed in their answers.I am not alone."Time.""Obligations and responsibilities.""Definitely money.""Guilt for putting themselves first.""Fear.""Fear of failing.""Fear of the unknown.""Fear--of failure, ridicule, looking like a fool.""Fear of not knowing they would be able to succeed in what they love...

09.11.2014

Dear Students,I met you guys 13 years ago this August. You were 12 - not quite little children, but not quite young adults, that awkward stage now known as the "tween years." I was barely 21, a new college graduate with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of uncertainty. On the day we met, I was more nervous than I had ever been before. I had spent weeks shopping for and decorating our classroom, and to this day, I can remember exactly what it looked like. I remember the bulletin boards I painstakingly decorated and the curtains I hung in the windows. I had pored over the textbook, carefully choosing the stories I would teach and the projects you would complete. My lesson plans for those first weeks were impeccable, and my welcome letter to you was thoughtful and full of my hopes for our year together. In short, I thought I was ready for you. In fact, I have never been more wrong. Because, even though I was a magna cum laude graduate with a degree in Secondary Education who had aced the Praxis exam and received great feedback on my student teaching, I was not...

06.11.2014

Each day as I drive down a certain highway in my hometown, I see a sign advertising in bold black letters, "Girls! Girls! Girls!" As I watched a pseudo-news program on television last night, it featured 'the sexiest Halloween costumes for women' and showed a video-gone-viral of a young woman receiving over 100 catcalls just walking down the street. When I opened up CNN's website just now, the featured headline read, "Women Sold, Raped, Enslaved by ISIS."No matter where I look, it looks really bad to be a female.Maybe it's because I'm the mother of a little girl who is rapidly growing older, or maybe it's just because I am growing older myself, but day by day I am increasingly saddened at just what it means to be a female in 2014. Sure, we have the right to vote, and yes, the glass ceiling has begun to crack and shatter, but in many ways it still dangerous and/or a liability to be a female.Every day at the high school where I teach, I see young ladies violating the dress code and displaying their bodies in a way that makes me cringe. Their tops are low-cut, their shorts are unbelievably short,...

24.10.2014

It's 2:47 on a Friday, this one being a teacher workday. I am sitting down, in my recliner, at home. As we speak, there are still a bunch of teachers at my school logging hours, planning for next week and doing the myriads of unending tasks that teachers have to do. But I'm not there. I'm home.We were given permission to leave today at 2:15 since we spent an evening at school a few weeks ago for Open House. I had permission to leave - yet I feel guilty. This, my friends, is the real life of a teacher. We never don't feel guilty about something.I feel guilty because I was the only person walking out the door at 2:15. The parking lot was still full, and my own to-do list wasn't finished. My supply cabinet really needed to be reorganized, and the nonfiction unit I'm doing soon still needs some work. My bookshelves are dusty, and I should have emailed that parent. Ugh - yep. I probably should have stayed later.But I didn't. I chose to come home to my elementary-school-aged children and spend some time with them. (I'm a rebel, aren't I?) I chose to try to turn...

05.10.2014

Single moms, I woke up this morning thinking of you. There's no reason why other than that the Holy Spirit reminded me I was once one of you, and there's no one who understands who hasn't actually been there. So as I was drying my hair and simultaneously trying to get my children ready, I thought of you and prayed. I closed my eyes and was transported to the hardest days of my life - the years I spent as an all-alone mom, a woman who was working and mothering and exhausted in a way that cannot be explained in words. I teared up as I recalled the nights I spent wide-awake because my overtired brain could not stop thinking. I prayed on your behalf, asking our God to give you real physical rest and to relieve the burden that is weighing on you most. I am no longer one of you, but in some ways, I feel like I always will be. I know just how you feel, and I want to tell you today that you are not forgotten. I know how alone you feel and how worried you are. I understand the helplessness you feel when there's just not enough...

22.09.2014

Now that we're back in the swing of school and I feel like I've gotten to know my 9th graders well, there are some things I have encountered that disturb me. A lot. (One of which is the way they all use the word 'alot.' It's two words, people. A. Lot. But I digress.)I pride myself on being a tough teacher. If a student makes an A in my class, it's because he or she has earned it. I don't give A's just for showing up - students earn A's when they complete and master assignments. What disturbs me, this semester more than any other, perhaps, is how many of my students expect those A's just for showing up. The first few quizzes, tests, and homework assignments threw them for the proverbial loop. There were many grades far below par, and there were many confused students and parents. There was a confused teacher, too. If the answers aren't right, then I must mark them wrong, right? If the assignment is only halfway completed, then it cannot earn more than a 50 percent, right?Yes, my expectations are high, and no, I don't apologize for it. But what has been on my...

09.08.2014

Dear Jennie,Today you're well-rested, having just returned from a relaxing getaway with your incredible husband. The new school year is looming and you're feeling a little stressed, beginning to make lists of all that must be done. But the stress you're feeling now is nothing compared to how you'll feel next Sunday night, when you know that 75 students will be entering your classroom the next day expecting great things of you. The stress will be even greater as you begin to prepare them for the high-stakes testing that will determine so much of their future - and yours. The anxiety will mount, the exhaustion will set in, and around February of this year, you'll begin to grumble. So I'm writing to you now, before all of it starts, to remind you that the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion are all a privilege. Really, they are.You see, Jennie, how have you forgotten? You've traveled to other countries where education isn't a given. You have seen with your own eyes children carrying their own chairs to a makeshift classroom in a tin building well over 100 degrees.You have seen their kitchen, empty but for a few small bags of beans and a...