Category Archives: Amy’s Personal Life

Reclaiming Joy

I have a tendency to exaggerate. However, I’m not being over-dramatic when I say that 2017 has been a nightmare.

 

Somehow, I got through my first year of teaching, surviving angry parents accusing me of being a racist, having gum and erasers thrown at me, and being told every day by several students that they hated me.

 

But I survived. I have grown and–not to be arrogant or anything–but I’m exceedingly proud of the growth and healing I’ve been able to go through as I endured constant verbal and emotional abuse.

 

On days when I felt like I couldn’t go on, more seasoned educators would tell me to hang on and keep with it because the next year was going to be better. They were right. Despite a number of minor issues with a handful of my students, my overall workload feels a hundred times easier. But as I’ve been reflecting on this past semester, I can’t help but still feel exhausted and discouraged.

 

And yet, it has taken one of the roughest weeks of my life to remind me of one simple truth: I AM IN CHARGE OF MY HAPPINESS.

 

It’s easy to huff and complain about the boy who doesn’t follow even my most basic instructions or the girl who disrupts class by shouting, “Shut Up!” at everyone who upsets her. I’ve had countless days when I’ve let my stubborn, hurting, ignorant students sour my mood.

 

I AM IN CHARGE OF MY HAPPINESS.

 

As much as I’d love all my students to do everything I ask the first time, I’ve realized that their failures shouldn’t affect my awesome day.

 

When a parent or guardian is condescending and screams at me for how incompetent I am as a new teacher, I can choose to believe that they are simply having a bad day instead of taking their insults to heart. And when a colleague berates me, I can take a deep breath and resist the urge to yell back since I have absolutely what struggles they are facing in their personal lives.

 

I AM IN CHARGE OF MY HAPPINESS.

 

Christmas is in a week. I know it can a very stressful time. There can be pressure to find the right gift. There can be frustration in dealing with relatives. There can be money troubles. There can be a sense of discouragement at not accomplishing goals in the past year. And so on.

 

I’d like to leave you on the note that no matter what is happening in your life, you are only in charge of you. There are only so many things that you can control, which might leave you feeling powerless. But you have the greatest strength of all–control over how you respond to a situation. When you feel like you need to lash back, don’t react yet. Take a moment to breathe and remind yourself that you have all authority over your joy. Smile and reclaim it.

Handling Fear

Fear is a natural thing. It is a reminder–a warning from past mistakes that caution you to take care. As much as we all like to put on a brave face, fear is something that EVERYONE feels.

 

It’s something that has ruled my decisions and outlook on life for years. The past twelve months in particular were full of moments when I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my 28 years. Although I knew all those moments were learning opportunities, they still plagued my heart and damaged my spirit.

 

I’ve been going back and forth on a fairly important decision for months now. My naturally-occurring optimism wants me to decide one way, while my fear of failure and being unworthy is leaning towards the other.

 

Steven Furtick tweeted something today that really hit home for me: “Faith doesn’t eliminate fear. It enables you to handle it. (See Exodus 4:1-4)” The verse is when God is dispelling all of Moses reasons why he shouldn’t be sent to Pharaoh. Moses says that no one will believe him. So what does God do? He gives Moses the ability to turn his staff into a snake! I’m pretty sure that Moses had no idea that God would do that for him. He still had some doubts, but Moses had faith in the Lord and was able to overcome his fears of not being good enough.

 

I’m obviously not Moses. God hasn’t appeared to me and told me that I’m going to save His people, but I do believe that God has a special plan for me. It’s okay to be afraid and worried; I’m human and I have my frailties. However, I don’t have to give in to them. I can be confident that God will equip me with what I need to do what He has called me to do.

Imagination VS Knowledge

So today’s post is going to be short because:

  1. I had to deal with a kitchen catastrophe that took me half and hour to clean up.
  2. I decided that in order to make my daily goal of blogging every day, not all posts will be lengthy.
  3. I forgot that I have to be somewhere tonight.

I’ve been trying to think of ┬átopic to write all day. I even posted on Facebook, begging for ideas. But as I went on my daily walk, I thought about the kinds of things that I have my students write.

 

They had Bell Work about a month ago where they had to respond to a famous quote. ┬áSo I decided that will be my go-to idea when I’m pressed for time.

 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” –Albert Einstein

 

I’m sure that this is a very controversial topic. I wish I had more time to expand on it, but I absolutely think that the father of modern physics is correct.

 

Growing up, I was really good at remembering information. It wasn’t that I had an eidetic memory; my brain just stored facts well. As I grew older, I realized that all that knowledge was useless without the ability to apply what I know. That’s when imagination becomes necessary.

 

If you can recall countless bits of information, it doesn’t mean a thing if your brain isn’t imaginative enough to put it to use. As a teacher, I try to impart to my students that they don’t need to understand everything I say, but they at least need to do something with what we are covering. It’s a difficult skill to learn as a teenager, but if it can be unlocked, their opportunities in life become endless.

 

To those reading this who say they aren’t imaginative, that’s okay. You can still learn to be. Find something that you’re passionate about and see if you can find a new perspective that hasn’t been realized yet.