Have you ever found yourself doing the very things you resolved you never would? This month I was reflecting on lessons I had learned from my worst teachers and wrote a piece entitled My Worst Teachers: Lessons They Taught a Future Educator. But shortly after completing the article I was convicted. The awful tendencies that I noticed in my most unhelpful teachers could sometimes be said of me. I was making the same mistakes I tried so hard to avoid! They were not as characteristic of me, I think, when I was in the classroom, but rather, in my current profession of household management and raising my children.
I used to write book reviews on EFL teacher resource books. Now I realize I must take my former zeal for professional development and apply it to my current occupation. To grow now, one thing I should be doing is reading and reviewing books to spur my professional development as a parent and keeper of the home.
There are two books that spring to mind immediately. The Preschooler’s Busy Book, by Trish Kuffner, is a resource book of activities that I ordered recently and received two days ago. Another book, Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood, by Jamie Martin, is still on my high priority wish list. I hope to read and benefit from these books soon. Meanwhile, we already have several parenting books that my exemplary husband has read in recent years. They are on the shelf waiting for me.
Obviously, a lack of resources is not the reason for my stagnation. There are certainly reasons though. It was easier, for example, to manage one child. Now my “class size” has ballooned to three. Other factors involve my own poor choices. And some unfavorable circumstances are not under my control. But the same is true in a classroom setting.
What I sought to do as a teacher was press on, learn from my mistakes, and pursue excellence. I read books, attended conferences, and kept a teaching journal. These growth activities were for my own fulfillment and for the benefit of those I was seeking to influence. My challenge now is to apply many of these same strategies to my work in the home as I serve my family.
If it seemed for a time that you were “getting nowhere”, what were some of the means that helped you to get back on the path of growth and fruitfulness?
"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."