Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I am halfway through my second week of teaching. I can't deny that these weeks have been hard. Naturally, lesson planning is time-consuming, but in many ways, education on Diomede sometimes feels like a one-room school house. Finding time for whole-group instruction is incredibly difficult when each of your students is on a different grade level or standard. Besides the natural stressfulness of lesson planning, getting to know the students and build a positive relationship with them is another challenge that requires time and careful cultivation. I believe that this will be my most challenging goal in the classroom. I am learning that teaching teenagers is a lot like loving your enemies. Sometimes I feel like I am pushing against a wall, but the support and advice of experienced Alaska bush teachers have kept me going during these initial weeks. "Be consistent, pleasant, and firm" seems to be the motto of the teachers in the district, and that is my goal.

In the midst of all the mayhem that a new school year inevitably brings, I am dealing with some disappointing news. First, my one-year-old niece, Lucy, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I know this is hard on my sister and brother-in-law, and I wish I could be there to help. How I wish I could give Lucy a hug and a kiss right now... Secondly, my dog is finally coming to the end of her life. This week she will be put to sleep. I have had her since I was ten-years-old, so you can imagine how I feel.

I am thankful for the light of Christ and for the steadfastness of His nature. These events are no surprise to Him. I am thankful for the prayers of my friends and family, and I am thankful for the laughter that I can have in the midst of challenges and disappointments.

While I haven't had much time to upload pictures, I will leave you with this one, which Adrienne took. It was taken on the day we arrived to the island. Here we are in the skiff next to the crab boat. It seems like so long ago, even though it hasn't even been two weeks yet.

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