30 by 30 · A Schoolteacher's Musings · Life Chronicles

A Classroom of Her Own

The way God works in our lives is beautifully astounding. The past week and a half are perfect evidence of that, for there is no other explanation for the whirlwind changes in my life but God’s sovereign hand. Through all the exhaustion and planning and stress of it all, I still feel like I’m walking through a dream – that this new life I’m living isn’t actually reality yet.

And yet it is … such a lovely reality that I didn’t really expect to happen to me for quite awhile.

There I was, beginning of August – I had plugged in my applications to so many schools in the district, but had gotten used to the “We’ve filled this position with another applicant” email – that I had kind of stopped looking for new openings. I had gotten accepted as a sub for two districts, so I – in my rational, realistic, don’t-set-yourself-up-for-disappoint way – had resigned myself to that reality for the upcoming year. I planned my schedule and prepped my expectations around the fact that I would be a full-time sub – and the best one possible [see previous blog post].

Then August 18th – I was downtown at Madeleine’s, meeting with my sweet Madison [funny – that’s now the name of my school …], and I ran into one of my former professors from Eastern. She told me that another one of my teachers from Eastern had recently left her position at said school and that I should apply. Not letting on that I thought it was useless by now to even try, I readily agreed and went home that night to put in my application [the very day that the position closed] – not expecting anything at all.

A week later … in the middle of my nap, my phone rang, calling me in for an interview – the second school that had called me for an interview that day. I was ecstatic – and for the first time that summer, allowed my hopes to rise just a little bit.

The next day, I had my interviews – and to my great surprise [and God’s perfect sovereignty], I discovered that Madison is becoming an arts-infused school, and they had called me for the interview because of all the theater background on my resume. There couldn’t have been a more exciting option, and I knew that this was the job I wanted. Not to mention that I already knew three of the teachers there through CYT, and I had volunteered 30 hours there last fall in one of the second grade classrooms … so my heart was already drawn to this particular school.

I heard nothing for the next days, and so I went about my normal routines … watching movies, reading books, starting my t-shirt quilt – filling the time and doing a lot of praying. Although I had come to peace with the fact that I would go wherever God wanted me to this fall, it didn’t stop me from being a little blue on Tuesday morning as I thought of all my teacher friends preparing their classrooms for the first day of school. I just wanted to have a classroom to call my own and have my own set of students that I’d get to know as well as family over the year.

Little did I know that at 2pm later that day, I’d get the call offering me the job … and I’d run down to the school to meet my teaching team, spend five hours trying to get things ready for the next day, and suddenly be “Miss Kinne” with my own set of 5th-graders to get to know and love.

People have asked me how it’s been going … and it’s true that I’ve had little sleep each night as I try to catch myself up to speed. There have been tears as my emotions get pushed to the breaking point, and I wonder if I’m even doing anything right. There have been moments when I thought I was completely losing my sanity as I tried to keep track of all I need to get done.

But every moment I’ve spent in school, I’ve never doubted that I’m exactly where I was meant to be. Not only as a teacher, but specifically at this school. I love the small, supportive community of teachers & staff who have been so welcoming; I love the kiddos that I get to minister to in all kinds of ways; and I love that I get to be a part of incorporating arts into our schedule.

Katie Mae texted me on my third day of teaching and she said, “Good news is Jesus has been equipping you for years upon years and you are more than prepared!” And I have to agree with her that Jesus has indeed been preparing me for such a time as this in so many ways … and I’ll never know why I got a job so quickly [not so common for college grads!], but what I do know is that God must receive all the credit. He’s given me the strength – and He’s the One who’s made these dreams come true.

So #9 on my 30 by 30 list can be checked off – “Have my own classroom.” And what fun it is to be the one to set our little routines and traditions, rewards and class songs, decorations and incentives! I love that I get to teach fifth graders, and I love teaching science and social studies. I also love my teaching team, and that we work together so well.

The year ahead holds many lessons [I’ve already learned so many …], and it will probably continue to be tiring, stressful, and overwhelming at times. But I’ve no doubt that it will also be the most rewarding, fulfilling place I could be. Because God called me here … and He will fulfill His purposes.

PS: Thank you to all my friends & family who were praying for me through the interview process and who rejoiced with me when I got the position! I could not have done this crazy journey of becoming a teacher without your support. I have felt your prayers this past week, too, as I began, and I am eternally grateful. All my love to you!

2 thoughts on “A Classroom of Her Own

  1. So are you saying that God is sovereign only when things go your way and you get what you want? That's how is sounds from what you are describing.

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  2. Not at all … God's sovereignty would have been still just as clear if I had had a different path this fall. And I do see His sovereignty in the areas of my life that don't go the way I want as well.

    It's just that when some things fall into place in an unexplainable way, the only response can be praise to God for graciously orchestrating details we never could have on our own. I fully acknowledge that it's all a gift I don't deserve – but I'm incredibly grateful for it.

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