Or does it? Is the destination the ultimate goal? Or somehow, was the journey the goal all along?
I would be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous. But, it's good. I think to myself, is this how my students feel every summer, awaiting their high-stakes scores? Waiting to be labeled?
Is that what it's all about? Absolutely not! I tell my students, from the first day of school to the last, that I love them. That they are smart. That they are capable. Scores have never, and will never, change that.
You, my friends, were my support along my journey. You told me how smart I was, when I didn't believe in myself. You told me that I was capable, especially on the days I didn't feel like it. You helped me hear the Voice of Truth.
I realize, looking back now, that it was the journey that made me an accomplished teacher. Every student honed my skills; some more than others. I am not the same teacher I was when my journey began. For that, I am thankful. Not because it has made me a better teacher just for the sake of being better, yet, for my students' sake. My intense focus on my teaching enabled me to hold on to those students slipping through the cracks. For that, I am thankful. I was also able to help my highest achieving student reach even higher than she thought was possible. For that, I am thankful.
I want you to realize that only about half of the candidates achieve on their first attempt. Many candidates come from schools and districts with other nationally board certified teachers on staff. Some districts hire consultants whose sole job is to help candidates. I teach in a small, rural district and did not have that level of support. I don't want you to be disappointed if I did not achieve on my first try. We set lofty goals, my friends.
As I sit along the trail, waiting, I rejoice. Rejoicing because I have come to realize my weaknesses. I know where Susan ends. Anything that comes after is pure God. It was God to begin with, as this is His talent in me. His plan and purpose for my life. But from here on out, it's 100% God. Amen. "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.