Friday, January 25, 2013

entering a new phase

Student teaching orientation has come to a completion, I have said my goodbyes to my fellow teachers, and we are all about to embark on this new phase of life...student teaching.  Where has the time gone?  I know this semester will fly by, and it is my hope and prayer that I keep up with it and make the most of the time I have.  I am about to meet my first ever class and I am excited.  I know I will never class as they hold a special place in my life as my first class.  I do not know anything more then their names at this point, but by this next time next week, that will be totally different.  What an awesome responsibility God has entrusted me with, and I only pray I use this time to its fullest.

I have a few areas I will be praying for myself with, and welcome you to join me.
  •  That I continually deepen my relationship with Christ, providing my students with a positive example.  I pray that they will be able to follow me as I follow Him.
  •  That I keep the proper perspective that I am in the ministry of people.  The academics and tasks are important, but the people are what matter.
  • That the Lord give me a genuine love for my students and host teacher.
Please also remember my fellow teachers as you remember me in prayer.  There are four other senior el Ed students doing student teaching this semester.

My goal is to update my blog weekly about life as a teacher, so check back often.  I thank you for reading and supporting me in this amazing call on my life.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Student Teaching Orientation

I have been back on campus for a week and a half and while I still marvel at the fact that I am preparing for two of my greatest dreams, I am overwhelmed by the high calling of both.

We have been spending many hours in the classroom learning the requirements we have for student teaching.  This is the most overwhelming part for me.  I am excited to teach the students and learn from my host teacher, but I am nervous about keeping organized and on top of all of the additional requirements for student teaching.  I expect this to be my busiest semester yet (which I can't imagine life being any busier then certain past semesters), but I am eager to look back on it and see how the Lord grew me and sustained me during this time.

In addition to student teaching orientation, we have been doing some PRAXIS II study sessions.  There are two parts to this test that I will take on April 13th.  I have already passed the PRAXIS I (my sophomore year), and am much more nervous about this one.  This one is the technical specialized test that determines if I become certified or not.  All prayers are needed and appreciated.

We are taking one official class as well in our time.  We are taking "Teaching PE, Health, and Safety".  I have really enjoyed this class and specifically in learning about some of the inner workings of our body.  For instance, if you want to be improving in your health and fitness, your heart rate needs to reach 65-80% of your maximum heart rate.  Want to know your maximum heart rate?  Take 220 (what it is at birth) and subtract your age.  I have enjoyed learning this but am nervous about teaching PE in the school.  There are a lot of requirements for this class which are also a bit daunting.

Finally, we are also going through CPR and first aid training.  I have already taken both last year with being an RA but it expires this year (2 year certification), so it was good timing.  I feel like I am catching on to the CPR much better this year, but hope and pray I never actually have to use it.  They have just recently gotten new dummies for the CPR that are more life like in the "feel".  It is much more difficult on these new ones.  My palms and wrists are literally bruised and my arms very sore.  I am thankful for this training though and feel so much more comfortable with it this year.

So there you have it.  My life is kept fairly busy with the above.  When not in one of these, I am usually sitting on my bed working on my e-portfolio, or reading Called to Teach.

How are wedding plans coming alone? you may ask.  The bridesmaid's dresses have been ordered and shipped.  I am just praying fervently that they are right, fit, and everything works out with them.  We also hired a photographer over Christmas break, excited to have them capture our special day!  There is a bit of stuff we will be working on in the near future, life just has a way of being insane.

I hope this update finds you doing well, and refreshed in the Lord.  Feel free to drop me a note or give me a call, I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

what a high calling

It's Saturday morning and so I allowed my body to sleep eyes open and it is 8:11.  Thankful for God's provision in housing for this semester. I have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head.  I decided to get some reading done.  For student teaching orientation, we are reading a book by Kenneth O. Gangel titled, Called to Teach.   All you teacher friends out there, I highly suggest this book. It takes a biblical approach on our role as a teacher.

While reading, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.  When I step back and look at my life, I see clearly that I am actively working on two of my biggest dreams in life: [a] to become a teacher, and [b] to become a wife.  Such a high calling in both of these dreams, but I feel (without any doubt in my mind) that this is a call of God on my life.  I have no words to describe the emotions that go into this.

When this all boils down, my high callings have a huge affect on people.  In reading this book, I am continually reminded of how much more is involved with being a teacher beyond teaching academics.  I am a model to them day in and day out and whether I like it or not, they will be imitating me.  What kind of person will I be for them to imitate?  My heart desire is for my students to become more like Christ.  I need to not just be a good moral person for them to follow, but to be a reflection of Christ Himself for my students to imitate. I am reminded of  1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, as I am also of Christ."

This requires work...hard work.  A lot boils down to my personal relationship with Christ.  It has to be real and genuine.  This is so partially so my students will have a relationship with Christ as their teacher does (or better), but also so that when they imitate me, they are imitating Christ.  I do know though that I will never be a fully accurate image of Christ, so I pray that I will have humility to admit to my students that I am far from perfect and do not give an accurate image of Christ and they must therefore spend their energy ultimately imitating Christ, not me.

As a future wife I am first of all overjoyed with God's generosity in allowing me to enter into such a relationship.  Already I am learning so much more about Christ through my relationship with my fiancĂ©.  May our relationship be a reflection of Christ and the love He has for His bride.

Neither of these tasks will be easy, but I am doing my best to first and foremost work and deepen my relationship with Christ.  I am secondly working on what I can do to prepare: read books, talk to others who have been through it, and pray for wisdom in both situations.  I ask that you join me in praying for these two exciting dreams ahead of me. I praise the Lord for how HE has directed me in this journey and brought me to this preparation phase of my life towards two of my greatest dreams!

Monday, January 7, 2013

come and gone

[all photo credit goes to my Mom]

Christmas break has come and gone.  Where it has gone, I have not the faintest idea.  Lord willing, I catch a flight out of Burlington this evening down to Charlotte.  This break has been quite eventful starting with a few days with that amazing fiance of mine (no pictures on this computer), and then up here for the remainder.  

Of course we had to get some Christmas baking in for the ambiance of Christmas.  Almond sugar cookies were the cookie of choice.  While we ladies baked, Dad worked his magic making Mom's kitchen beautiful. For those of you who do not know, my Dad is a contractor and my parents are building their home.  We have been in the house over 10 years, and it is a slow process, but the kitchen getting done has been HUGE!

 We celebrated our family Christmas on the 25th.  Here is our family shot for this year.  I am adding to the family next year...with a husband!
I loved the wifely/housekeeping gifts I got this year.  My mom made this apron with no specific pattern.  The neckline is adjustable and the apron is reversible.  The colors are perfect for our upcoming kitchen.  Mom, you are wonderful!

On the 29th, my sister (Maid of Honor) and mom had planned a bridal shower.  They went all out and made it an extra special time.  There was a blizzard that morning, but even with the weather conditions, we had 32 ladies out.  What an honor!  
 My mom made the cake (amazing, yet again), prepared several sweet breads (with the addition of an Aloha bread from my Grandma), crackers, cheese, grapes, carrots, broccoli and lemonade (provided by a dear lady at our church). Mom did a fabulous job preparing and planning the finger foods out. 

 Sarah was our lovely host who had prepared several fun activities and games.  She put a lot of time into it, making it such a special time.  Thanks, Sis!

 We had a fun time with my Mom's extended family, though missing my Uncle Dan.

 Much to our "kind of" surprise, Uncle Dan showed up!  I say kind of because he is the king of surprises, so to an extent it is not a surprise, haha.  It was so good to have him, his friend, and his new little puppy with us.

 Actually before the family all came, Dad finished his Mom's kitchen.  Watching him work on this gave me a new appreciation for his carpentry.  He is truly an artist and very talented at what he does. Fun to see my Dad's talent put into and area of the home my Mom spends so much time fulfilling one of her many talents!

So there it is, my Christmas is a semi nut shell.  Praying flights cooperate so that I am able to get down to Charlotte tomorrow to travel back to school tomorrow.  My last semester is here and I am ready for the learning experience I know student teaching will be.