Let’s do some compare and contrast between my first and second years of teaching, shall we? As I tell my students, let’s start with what is the same. This was my second year teaching 3rd grade at Lincoln School in Guadalajara. Even though I requested a change of rolls, I was again the Language Arts teacher for two groups instead of teaching all subjects to one group. I also continued my participation in a Mexican-led house church on Sundays and an American missionary-led Bible study/house church on Friday nights. Another similarity between this year and last year I would not have predicted is a change in housemates midyear followed by a change in co-teacher a few months later.
Has anything changed? Much, thank goodness! This year I actually started out with a competent understanding of the curriculum (good thing since I wrote it last year!) and felt comfortable with the standards my students needed to be successful. I also had a much better idea of strategies to use to help my students. I was definitely different as a teacher and I am even more thankful that my students were so different. I had a much more responsive class this year, hardworking and quick to follow instructions. It has been much harder to say good-bye to them than to my last class!
This year was also different because I had more opportunity to invest in the house churches. Last year I was mostly building relationships, getting a feel for where the church was already at, and praying a lot. This year, I had more opportunities to lead, informally and formally. Church is probably the part that makes me the saddest about leaving. I see so much potential for where I could have served next year. However, I also have faith as I see that God is steadily working in each community of believers and am seeing more people step up to lead humbly.
Salsa is a part of my life as it was last year…though I’ve gotten a lot better and the people I have met through salsa have become my friends. This year, I have been quicker to connect with them outside of our weekly dancing.
The house I lived in last year felt big, a little overwhelming, and very quirky. I am still in the same house, but with the help of Emma and the generosity of Margarita, the house feels much more cozy than overwhelming, and more artistic than quirky.
It is all a good reminder that though change may seem hard or sad, He is using change to bring good.
Photo is my own.