Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who is really driving you car?

This week, I started the always needed Staff Development meetings at my school. These were alot different from anything I have experienced since it was in a massive school district and I am used to a tiny district.
Let me give you an idea of what I am talking about:
(I am leaving the actual name of my district out for necessary reasons)
36,000 Pre-K to 12th grade students
25 Elementary Schools
7 Middle Schools
5 High Schools
In the top 15 biggest districts in the state of Texas
I showed up to the "New Teacher Orientation" with about 200 other people all of whom were so grateful just to HAVE a job in this Texas Schools budget crisis. The following day I showed up to my campus along with about 90 other teachers and administrators. That is 100+ employees at my campus and I am one of 25 elemenataries. The enrollment for my school is pushing 1100 at the moment and we have not even started school. This is unbelievable to me and I am not used to these large numbers.
Now to the point of my blog today... I went to the Fine Arts Meetings on Friday at one of the high schools and there I sat with over 200 other music and art teachers. I felt like I was back at TMEA or some other conference with all of these teachers. We went around the room and introduced the "newbies" as they called us and then started the meetings. As we went around the room, there were only about 10 actual new teachers to the district and several other people just got moved around from position to position within the district. I was the ONLY new music teacher and there was only 1 other Middle School Choir director hired. Even after we went through the intros and I had determined that there weren't any band jobs open in this district and I was lucky to have this job in the first place, I continued to sit there and ponder my situation.
Now if you know me AT ALL you know I am a very ambitious person and I have LOTS of career dreams and goals. I left OU in 2005 with a "plan" and I was going to achieve this plan soon. I left and went on to teach at Bowlegs which was an amazing experience and then on to Grove which again, if you know me, you know I have often preached that it was a best job I will ever have. I was able to do what I LOVE, which is teach band, and even get my Masters degree while there. If you would have asked me 3 years ago about where I would be when Chris and I moved to Texas, I would have said "Teaching band at a High School or a Middle School in a "major" district". Well... I got the "major" district part right as you can see from above!! But for the past few weeks I have been sad and frankly depressed about not teaching band anymore. I love teaching and I love kids but band was MY path.
So I am basically having a pity party in my head yesterday while looking around the room at these other band directors. There were not that many but I just couldn't help thinking:
"God, why couldn't I be one of those?" or
"How am I ever going to be able to teach at the collegiate level if I can get a HS Band job?"
or the thought I kept coming back to was
"Will I ever be able to get back into band once I spend a few years in elementary?"
I want to do big things in my career like teach band at a "major" district and work alongside really important and talented band directors and even go on and teach band at the collegiate level. This has ALWAYS been my dream and still is I guess, but I sat there for close to an hour just getting all jealous and upset that I couldn't have what I always wanted.
At the break between clinics, 2 other elementary music teachers came up to me "Hey Oklahoma (I find it humorous everyone around her calls me that!), we have a job opening for the District's Elementary Honor Choir Director position and we looked at your resume and you seem perfect. Want the job?" Here I am still in the fog of my own and I am a little startled. I talk to them a little longer and then accept the job.
All of this is just to show you that God works in mysterious ways. There I was basically questioning God and HIS path He chose for me and getting sad and depressed thinking I knew which path was better for me and out of nowhere, God sends these people to guide me further along HIS path for me. Now we are ALL bad about wanting to do things OUR way and go down OUR path but we have to remember that God chooses a path for us and it is HIS path that we flourish on the most. Since yesterday I have thanked God many times and spent lots of time in prayer about why God put me in an elementary school and what I will do while I am there. He has guided me down HIS path to love and care for these children. These kids will be unlike ANY OTHER I have EVER taught. The demographics alone will be uncharted territory for me and I know He put me here for a reason. I just have to follow His will and not worry about MY road but continue down HIS road. I have to remember that I am NOT THE DRIVER of my car. God is the driver of my car. He has chose the path and He knows what He is doing. I just have to LET Him be the driver.
I used this song in a blog earlier but it brings me back to the hymn "Wherever He Leads I'll Go":
"Take up thy cross and follow me"
I heard my master say;
"I gave my life to ransom thee"
Surrender your all today
Wherever He leads I'll go
Wherever He leads I'll go
I'll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I'll go
I don't know what else is down HIS road but I am open to it!
"Thank you God for your continued blessings and I ask you help me to be open to Your path and what else you will do in my life while along Your path. Thank you."
I cannot wait until Wednesday to see these kids and just love and care on them. They are the reason I am there in the first place and I hope to be the love and compassion they may not see at home. I hope you will take this story and think about if there are areas in your life where YOU are the driver instead of God. Let him take the wheel and guide you as you go along the path you are on.
"God is good... ALL THE TIME!"

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