Saturday, March 2, 2013

Teaching is hard. Teaching is difficult.

I am a music education major.  When I was in my Middle School Music Methods class, our professor opened the class very simply.  He told us to pull out a pencil and a piece of paper.  He said, "At the top in large print write, 'Teaching is hard.'" Then he said, "There is one more thing you need to write.  Below that first statement write, 'Teaching is difficult.'"  Teaching is hard. Teaching is difficult. I believed him, but I didn't understand.  I remembered those two sentences, and tried to grasp them.  I taught a few lessons here and there during that semester and the next, but I never felt like it was very hard.  I loved it. It came naturally to me to get up in front of a group and talk to them about music. Lessons were easy to write and administer, and I enjoyed the time I spent teaching.
Fast forward to today.
I am student teaching now.  I spent some time teaching elementary school and loved it.  But then I moved to middle school... bum  bum buuuuum. Don't get me wrong, the kids can be great.  But don't get me wrong on this either, the kids can be very difficult to manage. They're middle schoolers.  They're swimming in a pool of awkwardness mixed with hormones (most of the awkwardness being due to the hormones).  They start liking each other, but they aren't mature enough to have a real relationship.  They want to hang out with their friends, but they can't drive, and they aren't very independent.  They are growing up to be young men and women, but they're not quite there yet.  Everything is awkward.  I remember middle school.  It was terrible.  I was not a fan.  I remember taking my eighth grade school picture and dressing up and thinking I looked so cute that day.  Now I look at my picture and I looked terrible!  Messy hair, a blue shirt with a blue jacket of a different shade over it, and buck teeth.  It's no wonder most middle schoolers don't know how to act respectful.  They're occupied enough with trying to figure themselves out.

But all of this insanity it teaching me a lot.  It is surprisingly hard to remember that I'm not in the classroom just to be a teacher.  I'm there to be a light for Jesus to these kids' dark hearts.  I'm here to make an eternal difference.  I can't preach to them with words, but I can preach with my actions, and the way I relate to them.  When I'm in front of the class I have a thousand other things to think about, and sometimes it slips my mind that Jesus is my reason for being there.  If anyone reads this, I would ask you to pray for me.  Pray that I would stop putting all of my hope in my own abilities and training, and start relying completely on Jesus.  Let him run the show in the classroom.  I may only be in this class for 10 weeks, but Jesus can make an impact in a much shorter time than that.