There are lots of reasons:
- Olive Martinez will be coming back to teach. She is the Belizean woman who was supposed to be the teacher of the deaf class, then her daughter was killed in a car accident. I replaced her. She is ready to teach again. Mrs. Briceno was thinking about putting us in the deaf classroom together. I think Olive needs some freedom to do her own thing, fly or fail. I could be available as a resource and a sub.
- It's too much to teach and pastor. I give a lot of energy to both but when push comes to shove and I am out of time, the pastoring role gets the short end.
- I want time to be able to do other things well. Things like: I would like to help the young deaf mothers start a CODA group. I want to write a children's story about Belize children that takes place in Orange Walk. Maybe an easy-to-read beginning readers' series with at least one story about a deaf child. I want to spend more time in prayer and I want to exercise more.
The hardest thing about considering not teaching next fall is not "missing the children". I will see them all in church. I will be at St Peter's probably at least once a week resourcing, helping voluntarily, substituting. And Sulmi and others will still be welcome to live with me. No, the hardest part is: I AM A TEACHER. I've been a teacher since my little sister was born and I was in second grade. Once I tried to be a "Maverick" at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington for a summer. The Mavericks do anything helpful from clearing paths in the forest to shoveling the compost pile. I thought it would be a nice break from teaching...a chance to socialize with adults while working. Yet, I gravitated toward the day care. I asked them what they were doing with the children. I played with some of them and subbed one day, then two days and soon it was a week and I never went back to being a Maverick. Hmmm. In reflection it spoke volumes to me.
I can't imagine not being a teacher. Considering not teaching is like thinking about NOT reading or talking. How can I not teach? The idea is, oddly, a little unsettling for me.
So recently, when I have a few minutes to think about something other than teaching or my sermon or what I will teach at girl's night, my thoughts turn to next fall. Please pray with me as I try to discern God's will. Please pray for peace as I loosen my grip on an identity (school teacher) that I have nurtured and clung to most of my life. Please send your thoughts and any direction that you think the Lord is giving.