Saturday, October 4, 2008

Straight into the heart

Yesterday, I had my first formal evaluation at school. And it was one of the most encouraging conversations I have had in a very long time. Which is strange, because I have had so few conversations with this person, but he spoke straight to what has been on my heart, what I have been praying about and questioning over these past few weeks.

Essentially, I was told that I am doing a good job at my job. Which was good to hear, because I feel like I'm failing every day. He told me that there are things that he saw me doing that some third and fourth year teachers aren't doing yet. He told me a few things that I could try to make things flow a little easier and to keep everyone on task. All in all, he was very positive. It was the part that came next that was so encouraging.

Thursday night was our parent teacher conferences, and during that time I had a conversation with him where I had said that living here was definitely a transition and one that wasn't always easy. On Friday, after we finished my formal evalaution, he told me there was something else he wanted to talk to me about. Basically, after our conversation Thursday, he wanted me to know that he knows that I am in a rough spot. I live in this place that I don't neccessarily love, where I'm not as accustomed to the people and area and that's rough. I am teaching ninth grade, which is easily the most difficult age group to teach. Something about reaching high school makes a lot of kids difficult to handle. Then, what he said next nearly made me cry.

He told me this, "I just want you to know that I know that what you are dealing with is not easy. I know that it's hard. I don't want you, though, to question whether or not you should be in education. Whether it's here or somewhere else, I see a great future ahead of you in education. You have the potential to be a great teacher; don't let what's going on now get you down."

To be honest, I have been questioning a lot of things....I don't always sleep well at night and I can't seem to turn my brain off. It's always moving, always turning, and I feel worn out. There are days that I come home and I dread going back....but there are also days that I love what I'm doing. It was just so encouraging to hear someone tell me that they knew what I was feeling, and then to have that person give me the encouragement to keep plugging away. I walked back to my room, still on the verge of tears, just really thanking the Lord, because He gave me what I so perfectly needed through this human vessel.


Rebecca said...

Aww Ashley, I am glad you got that encouragement, and I'm sure you are doing great at your job because you've always been committed to everything you do. And I haven't seen you in a classroom, but you've done some great Bible study leading :)

I have been struggling a little bit with the same thing - not with education of course (heh, could you see me in a classroom? Oh dear), but with zookeeping. Everything was going so great with my job for a while, and then a few things combined that made me lose a little confidence. Long story short, losing that belief in my own abilities makes looking for a job quite unpleasant and even a little depressing.

junesixth said...

Oh, Ashley, that is wonderful! That story made me cry - but really who's surprised because I cry about everything. (Poor, poor Margo. I'm not sure how she put up with us.) I love you and I am so proud of you!