The Teaching Juggle – it’s real.

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My side kick “Possum”

Sitting here next to the fire, with my cat, blanket and slippers, sipping tea, I reflect on my day, the start to our school term, and our crazy 2020 so far. Our schools, churches, sports grounds, libraries, pools, supermarkets, malls and businesses are basically back to normal, post Covid-19 lockdown We are still under Level 1 here in New Zealand which means our borders are tightly controlled. But I look to our neighbour Australia who is suffering through another wave of this ugly virus. Level 4 lockdown over there, while here I enjoy daily life with those in my community. And then there is the deadly Beirut explosion that happened yesterday, and my heart is sad. This world is in a bit of a mess at the moment, and yet around me it is fairly ordered and beautiful.

This is only week 3 of Term 3, with 7 weeks to go. Week 3!? Life seems very busy and fast paced at the moment with many things tugging for my time and energy. I have had to be smart, with my head ‘screwed on straight’, to make sure I don’t implode! But walking through the hallway of our school this afternoon, I felt at peace, that I was in the right place at the right time. Interacting with fascinating, energetic and beautiful young people is super rewarding, but does come at a cost. It comes with a sacrifice. But I ask, what are we here on this earth for? If it is not for sacrifice in some way to others, then it is for 100% selfish reasons. We are here to love people, and make a difference. So I have been intentionally doing some things to look after the balance in my life, so I can continue with the teaching juggle!

Sometimes the teaching juggle is interesting when we have little friends – Archie (our bearded dragon) when she was young.
  • Hold onto one Bible promise each day, making time for prayer (which seems to be on and off all day long as I navigate teaching, family and myself!)
  • At least 8 hours of sleep each night – for me this is one of the most important things that stops me tipping over the edge!
  • We buy ‘My Food Bag’ which means we get a big box on Sunday afternoon with ingredients for 5 main meals for a family. I don’t have to think about what to have for dinner each night. Win-win I say!
  • Say no to things not on my important list.
  • Spend face to face time with my kids and husband – usually over dinner, evening and prayer time before bed.
  • Get some air time outside.
  • I spend time with my animals – quite therapeutic…we had 2 of our boy turkeys start gobbling today. That was cool, and fun to share with the family…especially fun watching everyone else gobbling at the turkeys to get them to gobble back.
  • Talking about funny times with our turkeys – laughter is another good thing. We do actually spend a lot of time laughing in our household.
  • A cup of tea works wonders.
  • Gratitude – be thankful, give thanks, thank others.
  • Hugs…lots of hugs.
  • Life group – staying connected with others in Bible Study and prayer. It is super powerful to have a group who prays for each other, and gives sound advice and wisdom to each other.

So yes, teaching in post Covid-19 lockdown has been interesting. The juggle feels more difficult, but I believe God has/is raining down his Holy Spirit in higher doses. God is enabling His servants everywhere to be the encouragers of others, prayer warriors over the spiritual battles in people’s lives, and deliverers of the beautiful grace message. Now, more than ever it is so important to share the great HOPE we have that JESUS will come back again, and take all the sadness and ugliness and replace it with perfection and beauty.

If you are a teacher, be encouraged that you are in your classroom at this time for a reason, there are children and young people who only you can influence. But if you are not in the right place, ask God to open doors and unsettle you so that you search for the right place. He is faithful, He will point in the right direction. By the pure grace of God, we as teachers will continue to juggle, but will also reap huge rewards (if not now, in Heaven). If you are like me, and are lucky to work in a school where you are able to encourage with the love of Jesus, don’t give up! There is a beautiful young person who needs your encouragement, your understanding and your prayers. I pray blessings for all teachers who are doing an extraordinary job at the moment, helping our young people to become critical thinkers, and positive members of society. At the same time, supporting them as they navigate an unsteady time in our world.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

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