I chose the name "29:11" for my blog to remind myself and others of God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11, which says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
I am finishing up my first year of teaching 7th-8th grade Social Studies, and it has truly been an interesting experience. I love the school where I am teaching. I have a wonderful support system: God has blessed me with a wonderful mentor, who I had the privilege of working with when I student-taught, I have made some wonderful friends who are also in their first year of teaching, the other (more experienced) teachers are extremely helpful and have become good friends, and the administration is excellent. I have struggled with classroom management, but I feel that I have definitely improved as the year has progressed. I have definitely had some rough spots and some days when I have come home wondering if I was crazy to want to teach middle-schoolers, but all in all, it has been a wonderful year. I feel truly blessed that God placed me there for my first year.
I found out last Thursday (4/9/09) that due to budget cuts and the fact that I am the least experienced of the Social Studies teachers, my position is being cut for next year. Therefore, I have some very pressing decisions to make for next year. I have the option of going through the job search again (I got really frustrated last year after graduation when it took me so long to find a job), which I will do no matter what, but I also have the opportunity to go ahead and go to grad school. Financially, it is feasible if I took a graduate assistant position to pay for tuition and a stipend for living expenses, as well as using my savings account and my tax refund to pay off all but about $1,000 of my car note. The downside to going to grad school is that I would have to wipe out my savings, which I have worked hard to build up. Also, I had really wanted to finish LaTAAP before going to grad school so that I would have my full Louisiana certification. If I go to grad school, I also have to decide which one to go to. Hardin Simmons is a Christian university in a town about the same size as Lake Charles and it has an awesome Gifted Education program, but I have no family or friends there. UALR is close to family and friends and it has an awesome Gifted Education program, but it is in a pretty big city. There are pros and cons to all of my options, but the biggest difficulty for me is being patient and listening to (and obeying) what God leads me to do. I know that God has a plan for me and that He is always in control, but sometimes it is difficult for me to trust Him completely. I have a tendency to act first and pray later. With this decision, I want to pray, seek God's will, and then do it, no matter where I feel He is leading me. I truly need to trust Jeremiah 29:11-13: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'"
In the next several blogs, I will post updates on how God reveals His plan for me in His time, and not necessarily mine.