Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog name change and mild rant?

I really enjoy writing and this blog is fun, but I have been busy, as I am back at work.  For those of you who don't me I am a public school teacher, I teach grades 9-12.  I know what you are thinking and yes it is  hard to be a Christian and teach in a public school.  I am careful with my speech at work and I know the law.  I really do not worry about the law, or getting fired, or disciplined or anything.  I just do my job to the best of my ability and to the Glory of God.

The strange thing about this public, social-media saturated world is the line between personal and private is crooked and blurry.  Changing with the evolution of technology, smart phones and access to the internet anywhere and ALL THE TIME.   In fact I just read an article about a teacher who got himself in some trouble because of his anti-gay speech on Facebook, and now I ask am I next?

I agree with Jerry Buell's stance and I would even re-iterate here, but I get the sense that he did a little more than what we know.  I know, TRUST ME I KNOW, there are TWO sides to every story and I would bet that there are details we do not know.  For example, how did the district get to his Facebook page (now deleted), did he allow students to be friends, did he allow students to post on his wall, did he post photos and tag students, did he advertise his Facebook page in class, was his page private?  So many questions that need answered.  I tweet, but my tweets are now private, so I have to approve your request to follow me, I do not have a Facebook but if I did it would be marked private and I would not friend any student from the past 4 years.  This blog, as far as I know, can only be public, but even if I had the option to mark it private I wouldn't.  I want millions of people to read this, I want to inspire people, make them laugh, give them counsel, point them to Christ and of course share with them our adoption story.  So, if you are a student reading this, I am thrilled that you are, but remember this is my private life (as opposed to public, like public school employee). These are my thoughts, my feelings and my struggles and have nothing to do with school or your education.

I need to clarify here, my tweets were public because I wanted people to read them, isn't that why we tweet, and I currently have 21 followers, 5 are current students, 4 of them I have in class. When I went private my followers were grandfathered so I have to either block them or ask them to stop following.  The others are brothers and sisters in Christ and a few church organizations.  Anyway, after reading about Mr. Buell I started to think about my tweets, then I had a student @mention me to tell me she would not be in school.  Well that was it for me, I though that was a bit much, even though I rarely respond to students via twitter, I decided to mark them private.  I really did not want to mark them private because who I am in Christ can be seen by my tweets, obviously I hope my actions show Christ while I am at work, but the tweets give the foundation to who I am with no apology or worry about breaking the law.  I felt like my tweets gave the rest of the story and I wanted my students to have that because I want then to see that it is possible to be a committed Christian and have joy, fun, love and passion.  I want them to know that who I am in class everyday is because of Christ, I have the passion I do because of Him, I am free to be me, goofy and loud, because I have been accepted in Christ and by Christ.  I want them to know I am real, I am honest and I am me because of Christ.  I want them to be happy, healthy, whole and saved.  

I believe that the best way to live life is as a committed follower of Christ and it is that truth that I want people to see in me.  I never preach to my classes, or proselytize or handout bibles or make them read the bible.  What I do is treat them like they have value, worth and purpose, because they do!  In accordance with the Public School Code of ethics for Teachers in my state, I answer direct questions asked of me by individual students.  In fact I can only remember one time in 13 years that I had a student ask a question during lecture time that I had to shut down.  Sometimes kids ask me what my opinion is of a certain hot button issue, or a political candidate.  At one time the Rhetoric teacher, the class is a college in the high school (CIH) class, would send students to me to help them prepare for the debate about the existence of God or the abortion issue, that was legal and appropriate within the context of a CIH class centered around debate and rhetoric.  By the way, talk about rhetoric! What a sorry article the Time.com one I linked above was.  For some reason the teacher stopped sending kinds down to me!!!  I think it was because the students that got sent to me kicked butt in their debates, unfair advantage I guess.   I am careful, calculated and never, never, never, bring up religious topics with my students, but if they initiate the conversation then we can talk, and at that only as time permits. I will not spend a whole period talking to a student about religion and neglect the other students.  I always do my job first.  I have had some interesting, scary, sad, funny and heart wrenching conversations over the years.  I can remember one student who was depressed and suicidal tell me she thought death would make her happy because the sadness and pain would be gone. What do I say to that? How do I help this young person cope, how can I possibly offer them hope without Jesus? That was an interesting year with that student, I prayed incessantly for their safety and as of right now they are doing well and still alive.  Praise God.  I could tell many, many more stories that would shock you, make you cry, make you weep, make you angry and make you laugh.  I have a dream that someday I will write a book about all the students that have impacted me by their stories and struggles.  

Many do not realize how exhausting being a teacher is, you are ON all day, no off switch.  A word of clarification for moms, especially stay at home moms and home schooling moms, I know you do this 36 hours per day 12 days a week, that is how God made you and you are good at it! I have heard and seen so many things, at last count it was like 15-17 suicides in the last 12 years by either current or former students. We had one student die because of meningitis, the mother of one student was murdered and then there was the year when I had cafeteria duty and we counted 6 students that lost a parent that year.  When you see the dark side of teaching, do see the need for the light of Christ?  I want every student to know that they can come to me with the darkest, meanest, grossest, evilest problem and I will be there to help them find the help they need.  Well I see that this post got a bit long, so just hang tight I will finish the blog rename stuff soon.     



5 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Just testing to see if commenting works

    ReplyDelete

Keep it classy . . .