“For what no?” I hear this from my students often when they are trying to say, “Why not?” I suppose that none of us really like to hear “no” and we all want to know why we cannot have something or if there might be an exception. It becomes really annoying to hear it from the students, but adults probably do not realize how much they do it as well. Accepting “no” graciously really is a sign of maturity.
This week, I was expecting a final meeting with my coordinators at work which would allow me to have a self-contained classroom next year. Having my own classroom, instead of only teaching Language Arts for both classes, has been something I have been praying for since January. I made it a personal goal and put in a many hours of work to research different methods and strategies to make my teaching better. This year has been really humbling because I have had to find out so many things for myself and I have been mystified by many things with which trained teachers already had experience. I have often felt unqualified and inadequate, but worked hard so that I would not feel that way anymore. At my meeting, my coordinators told me they are really nervous to allow me a self-contained classroom because of my lack of training. They were also worried that I would not have time to do all of the work I would need to in order to successfully run the self-contained classroom. In short, I received a “no”.
It was hard. However, I was relieved about how I took it. I thought back on the last time I was told “no” about something major I had really wanted. I took it personally, I questioned, I felt completely worthless and fell into depression for a time. This time feels different. Yes, I am disappointed, but I could handle being told that I was not ready for the next step yet. I am okay with waiting and doing some more work. I am okay with the fact that I am not perfect. I feel like I understand 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 better than I did a few years ago. In this passage, Paul talks about a weakness he battled. He asked for it to be removed three times, but God continued to say “no”. It seems that it was through this Paul learned to boast in his weakness because he came to see Christ’s power in it. Before, I could not really wrap my mind around boasting in weaknesses. Yes, I knew it was something we were supposed to do, but my weaknesses always made me feel miserable, they never gave me joy or pride for the Lord’s sake. I think I just caught the very beginning of what it must mean to delight in a weakness because God has the opportunity to work in you and show His great strength. I am looking forward to next year and being a little better as a Reading/Writing teacher. I am glad to know that He is pleased with me and He will be glorified even when I am weak.
Photo is my own of the glorieta (round-about) in our neighborhood.