TEACHER, You Are Enough and More, A Guide to Uplift Educators
Does change bring fear? Change is inevitable, and it moves us forward whether we like it or not. At times, voluntary change and attaining a new position can be positive. But other times, when change happens, as it always does in education, we tend to become fearful and anxious because we do not know where it will lead us. It is another new curriculum and another task we must learn. When we become resistant, life becomes more difficult; therefore, we choose non-resistance to make the transition easier.
When multiple changes occur without the teacher’s consent, it is difficult to manage and learn them all at once. Even though change is good, we can become overwhelmed and frustrated to make it all happen. Occasionally we need to voice our concerns to slow it down so we can process the change as it becomes too much too fast. Yet, without change we become stagnate. Of course, it is all in the way we act and respond that makes the difference; but we also trust that the change will help us grow.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17 (ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)
With the excitement of getting back to school in the fall, we walk into our classrooms and see stacks of book boxes in the corner. Opening the boxes, we see yet another new reading program to unpack and study. Immediately, we feel overwhelmed! How many times has this happened to you? This happens frequently in all classrooms.
We’ve experienced many changes throughout our teaching careers. It was too much too fast without solid research or implications of whether it would be the best course of action to get desired results. These included introducing new curriculum, changing and revising new standards, change in procedures, rules, and regulations, and change in positions and duties. What is difficult about change? We are not usually in control with all the sudden mandates placed upon us that leave us with difficulty to adjust. However, change is necessary to take us to the next level of our profession.
At times, keeping up with the changes is rough because we do not fully understand where these changes are going. Decisions are made on the fly as teachers struggle through the new course of direction when the people in charge do not know themselves where they are heading. Most of the time teachers are not heard or consulted before implementing the new changes or even given time to understand the effects of the new changes. Often it means attending more workshops, trainings, and professional development, which require more detailed documentations, data, and accountability.
The following year the process is abandoned and another new program implemented. As experienced teachers, we went ahead and did what we knew was right. By the end of our careers we became experts of not letting change bother us. Instead of excessive complaining we kept ourselves balanced by moving forward and focusing on the work.
- I am pliable and open to changes.
- I am open and receptive to new ideas.
- I am compliant and understanding of new changes.
- I accept the new and let go of the old.
- I trust God to guide me.
Envision and Express the Following:
- I imagine myself taking one step at a time scaffolding the new changes.
- I see myself organized and ready to implement the changes.
- I view myself empowered with wisdom and knowledge.
- I see myself acting appropriately and making good choices.
- I visualize myself staying at peace and maintaining unity.
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- I receive instructions in moving forward and increase my learning.
- I do my best to make step by step changes.
- I execute the new mandates with a good attitude for the benefit of my students.
- I do not lose heart for inwardly I am renewed day by day.
My desires are… (Lines provided for writing)
TEACHER, You Are Enough and More, A Guide to Uplift Educator
While teaching, stress creeps in and can be debilitating, especially if you are a worrier. Stress can be emotional, physical or mental. Our thinking is not clear when we are stressed and everything becomes unraveled. It causes us to do and say things we would not normally do or say. A feeling of unrest and turmoil is experienced. We may even feel tension and become quite ill.
Can we ease the tension? Scripture has a lot to say about the subject of stress giving us coping skills to ease the tension. Tension is replaced with comfort, happiness, and peace through renewal of the mind and practicing gratitude and thanksgiving. Trust that God, through prayer, will supply all our needs. We can also relieve the stress by doing physical activities such as taking a walk, riding our bikes, listening to music, and meditating. Find what works best for you by taking a break and getting your body and soul in balance.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 (NIV)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
Stand firm, and you will win life. Luke 21:19 (NIV)
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
Stress is a result of the fear of not being able to handle the pressure and demands of work, family, and life. We fail to trust God to provide for all our needs. Teachers are constantly bombarded into believing that they are not enough and could do more causing immeasurable stress. To cope, we put it into God’s hands to carry us through instead of taking it into our own hands. One of the keys is to identify the stress factor then forgive and let it go. Carrying the stress for too long can lead to serious illness and the imbalance of the mind and spirit.
When not handled well, stress can be so severe that it unleashes itself in our body. One year when daily observations started, many teachers became weary. Coping skills vary from person to person and are critical in handling overwhelming stress. One teacher was diagnosed with the beginning stages of breast cancer and four months later came down with pneumonia that lasted over six months.
This teacher felt stressed and run down going to radiation every day before school, causing her to feel tired and depleted. Nevertheless, she did not miss a day of school. During these two serious illnesses, prayer and believing that God was restoring her health, along with reading healing scriptures, helped the recovery. Also, she listened to soft, calming, uplifting music and watched comedies to renew her spirit. In due time, this teacher fully recovered and her health restored. We saw this type of stress in teachers’ year after year. Therefore, it is critical to hold steadfast in the Word and increase our faith to withstand the pressure and demands of life.
- I am free of all self-limiting beliefs.
- I am fulfilled and living a life of purpose.
- I am managing stress
- I am perfectly healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
- I am beautiful and resilient.
Envision and Express the Following:
- I imagine myself trouble free.
- I feel my body relaxing.
- I see myself in my comfortable and happy place.
- I view myself healthy, fit, and strong.
- I see myself taking the time without being rushed.
- I look and feel wonderful.
- I pace and manage my time appropriately.
- I take breaks without guilt.
- I calm myself down by breathing deeply and crossing the mid-line.
- I can work at my own pace peacefully.
My desires are…(Lines provided to write)