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After nine years in a classroom, I'm leaving education. I will walk out of my empty room on Tuesday with books packed away and memories stored in my heart, leaving behind hundreds of adolescents who walked through the door looking for what they didn't know they needed.Honestly, I don't know if I gave them anything.I tried really hard, that's for sure. I wrote curriculum and read professional books and took classes to get better.I read adolescent novels and included the classics and tried to teach them some grammar.But as far as what they got? Who really knows. That's the agonizing peculiarity of education. You never really know how you did, even with test scores and data being thrown all around. You never really know if you made an impact that will be remembered beyond the last day of school. You never really know.I sure don't.If you're looking for a diatribe against the American education system, you won't find it here. I have a lot of thoughts on our system and a lot I think needs to be changed, but I'll keep those thoughts inside until the time is right to voice them.Here's what I do know: I can't stay. Not because...


I just don't get it. It's the year 2016, people. Twenty. Sixteen.And yet here we are, with being female still being a hardship. A liability. A handicap, if you will.Today, the home page of a major news organization carried the headline, "Cheerleading Team Nixes Tryout Tips After Outcry."Here's  what this university - this institution of higher learning - values in its representatives: a "beachy glow." Hair with "volume." And don't leave out the all-important "false lashes." In other words, everything opposite of who we women really are when we wake up in the morning. Don't lose sight that the girl in the picture is also blonde and skinny. Two more traits that make a girl have the valued "look."Makes me want to puke.This week, I had a man suggest that my skirt was too short. It hit my knees. My knees. A man with whom I've had maybe two conversations in my life. A man who was bothered by the fact that my scandalous and I suppose seductive kneecaps were showing. Excuse me? First, who do you think you are? The clothes police? You have no legitimate reason to discuss anything with me, most especially the length of my skirt....


I saw your hands tremble as you reached for the test. Your face displayed confidence, but your hands showed your heart. You're nervous, and I get it. You've worked hard and studied often, and you just want this test to show it. To you, right now, this score is everything. The score represents you, on a 10 point scale. It is your worth, from A to F. It is what matters, written in red.school.familyeducation.comBut sweet child, it's really not. It's really not everything. It's far from your worth, and even coming from your teacher, it's not what matters. It's just a test.What matters is what I've seen in you and from you during these weeks. The attention you've given, the details you've pored over, and the effort you've given. What really matters is the character you've shown as you've readied for the test and the perseverance you've had as you pursued what I taught.This test? It's just a snapshot. It's just a one-time indication of how you did one time you answered some questions. That's it. That's all. Nothing more.When you get your score back, I pray it's what you wanted. But if not? It's OK, because you - the value of...


I want it all to be easier.I want to wake up in the morning, choose my path, and do what I love.I want the decisions to be obvious, the money to be readily available, the children to be always obedient.I want the fighting to stop, the politicians to be good, the heart not to hurt.I want to float through life, not fight through it.I want Eden. I want Heaven. I want them here.But.Here is fallen. Here is hard. Here hurts.Here, people betray those they pledge to love. Here, bodies break and brains deteriorate. Here, children die and hearts break.Here, this life thing is hard.But, mercifully, here is not hopeless. Here, in the hardship, is Jesus. Here, in the hurt, the Holy Spirit intercedes. Here, in the hostility, is God.This week, especially, the hard and hurt have been loud. This week, all around, I see pain and hear, "Why?" Here, this week, I want what isn't, and I want what is to change. Yet in the hard and in the hurt, light is shining. Faith is growing. Love is abundant. And for today, for right now, that's enough....