XXXI: Language Barrier

I suppose it isn’t really fair to use the phrase, “God is confusing”. In many ways He tends to explain His will, desire, and expectations pretty clearly…we also tend to get so caught up in the world around us that it muddles the communication between ourselves and Him.

Currently: I’m a muddled mess.

It’s not like some sort of losing streak, it’s just the frustration know that God’s trying to tell me something, to guide me somewhere, and everywhere I tend to think that is…it just feels as if He’s shutting doors right and left. I’m uncomfortable, Darco is extremely stressed, and with each passing day I’m questioning more and more about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and what I’m really supposed to be doing.

I’m 27 years old, and it feels like I have zero understanding about the world around me, and more importantly…I have no understanding of God’s desire. Truly there is nothing more frustrating compared to that sensation. It’s not as if God is vacant, it’s just as if we’re using two different languages and I’m understanding none of it.

When I was let go of my previous job on August 25, 2014 I took it as a clear understanding that I was to head into the classroom. Praise God He had prepared me mentally and spiritually for that job to be over, it didn’t hurt nearly as much and even speaking with Darco or MC, it was evident that a few months prior we all knew it was coming to an end.

With that gratefulness though comes the complete frustration of messing with the actual industry I went to school for, education. I love hanging out with kids, I do enjoy instructing, but I’ve come to deeply despise the paranoid, red-taped laced education system of the country I live in. It’s hypocritical, we’re supposed to encourage our students to be creative, think outside the box, and question aspects of the culture that we don’t necessarily understand. Frankly, I find that to be the foundation of the social sciences, be willing to question what everyone else accepts as ‘fact’. If you’re an educator though…that very thing you’re suppose to preach is the very thing that will certainly cost you your job if you don’t following the Mosaic policies that have been enforced since the ’50’s.

Overall: Creativity is often limited to children and Lego’s by rule of the modern education system. When creativity stretches into adulthood things such as revolutions, constitutions, and reformation tend to take place.

How is this jumbled mess all connected?

Last week I started back in the classroom as a substitute teacher, in the same high school I started with in August of last year. It was a blast, even though it was math, but as I learned on Friday…I had made some costly mistakes. On Thursday afternoon, while leaving the school, I was impromptu drawn into a conversation with the high school principal  (this school has four assistant principals and one head principal…this was the head). To my surprise he wanted to speak with me about Twitter, social media, and their schools new mobile application. In this process I was able to present my thirty second resume, and even agreed that I could coach some activities along with teaching. He asked me to download their mobile application, take some time to check it out, and…

If you could, promote it through your Twitter* account.

(perspective, I have nearly 1400 followers versus that schools 700 followers)

I left the school shaking, and in complete disbelief that this opportunity had presented itself. My mind was immediately thinking:

God just kicked open a massive door!

The school was located between the two houses that I’ve been visiting each week to work on a new church plant opportunity, it is close to an area that Darco would likely transfer to upon promotion for Starbucks, and it was the area of the region that I really, really wanted to move to. I went to Bible study that night pumped, excited, and willing to share this incredible story about God’s grace to everyone.

On the following day I found myself in a junior high, teaching ancient history (AKA: social studies equivalent to evolution) to a bunch of fun 6th grade students. To no surprise I thoroughly enjoy teaching 12th grade and college students, but shockingly I equally enjoy the 6th through 8th grade kids too (it’s the energy that I like). Towards the end of the day I noticed that I had a missed call from the staffing office that ships me out to the different schools in the district. I was thinking that it was a bit early in the year for anyone to be requesting me, but was optimistic that this would be a Monday job that was waiting for me.

I hate optimism like that.

I was informed via a voice mail that I needed to call the office. After school, upon doing so, I learned some interesting things:

  • My watch must not match the watch in certain schools, because 4 minutes early equals 15 minutes to someone in some random office
  • It turns out that you have to put your name on the board for students to read. However, if you dare show creativity by placing your Twitter handle on the board instead, you’re asking for some serious trouble (because we know that a student would never search your last name on Twitter, Facebook, etc…**)
  • These (mainly the second) are grounds for your expulsion from the substitute list of that specific school.

You read that last point correctly. Not even twenty four hours after a surprise encounter with that high school’s principal I was informed that I would be removed from their list, and would never substitute teach within that building again.

Shell shocked does’t quite describe how my weekend really started. I was angry, upset, and extremely disappointed. However, most importantly I was very confused. What had appeared 24 hours earlier as a door swinging wide open, was slammed in my face in the most hostile way. I wanted to argue, fight, and create chaos about these cases brought against me, but I knew I shouldn’t. In most aspects of my life I’m fine with pushing the limits and boundaries of expectations, but even though I’ve never held a contract…I work double-time to ensure that my teaching reputation remains spotless. You can image how painful it was to realize that like my ‘squeaky clean Christian’ image was destroyed by a divorce, again I’d been tainted by things that I didn’t completely understand. Parallelisms in life tend to hurt the most.

Does that mean I’m done substitute teaching? Absolutely not. Income is income, and one school out of a massive district isn’t going to get me to call it quits. Just know spiritually that it was so disheartening. Today I’ve been working on other districts to get on their ‘sub list’, and two of three districts either aren’t looking for substitutes, or their entire application website is down. It’s just confusing to understand what exactly God wants. He expects me to listen, to seek, and to remain calm. However, when things just aren’t adding up on a daily basis it tends to create fear and concern.

I know MC is concerned, and Jim, and Darco…and probably even “the dark one”. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, or what makes me such a poor employee. I know inside the school system it’s hard to follow policies and procedures, especially when they’re not in favor for the well-being of the student, but that doesn’t necessarily make me a poor educator. For what it’s worth, for years along that lovely spiritual gifts test that every youth group, college group, etc…used, I topped out at “teaching” every…single…time (prophesy strangely was followed quickly behind it). I never doubt the ability to teach.

I think tonight I just needed to get this all out on paper, and clear up my mind a bit. Back to school tomorrow, and more work to be done. I’m sure God has a plan; I just hope I can figure out the translation of it.


*: Irony.
**: True story. Last year, while my name was on the board, a student with his tax-payers MAC book, in class placed my last name in a database to see any criminal reports. You can imagine my embarrassment when asked about a certain restraining order…but don’t worry, a Twitter handle is much more dangerous.

One response to “XXXI: Language Barrier

  1. Pingback: #getyourpraiseon | Signing On The X

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