Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Daily Archives: February 13, 2016

This is where it all began!  Great memories working here.

This is where it all began! Great memories working here.

Twenty Five years ago today I officially began my teaching career at Springhead Elementary School. Twenty-five years!

I will never forget that first year. The day before Valentine’s Day, I took over for a first-grade teacher who went on a six-week medical leave. After spending a day with that class, I’m understanding the need of a mental, I mean medical leave. LOL!

Miss Parker (me) entered the doors of a small brown portable full of tiny tables, a chalkboard wall, and twenty plus children. This class was known as a boisterous group of munchkins. But it didn’t take but a couple of days for them to see and understand that their new teacher was fresh, organized, and ready to give some tough-love. During that short six-week time period, those children grew in discipline in and outside of the classroom, and learned so much in their tiny minds. Yes, I’m a little bit proud of how I was able to turn those children around. But…then I earned a reputation of being able to handle some of those “lovelies” that may need a new face to encourage them.

After that six-week stunt, God opened another door at that same school. A fifth grade teacher took an energy transfer. So I went from having a class of first graders to thirty-six fifth graders. What?!

I remember sitting on the classroom floor, surrounded by tons of teacher and school supplies and room décor, crying and praying because I was feeling a bit, okay a lot, overwhelmed. God sent me a precious angel to mentor me. When Mrs. Wynn started her first year teaching first grade (or was it second?) at Pinecrest Elementary School, I was a student in her very first classroom. Now, fast forward about sixteen years, and Mrs. Wynn was the reading specialist at Springhead Elementary. She came into the classroom, wrapped her arms around me, gave me some words of wisdom, looked around at all the “stuff” on the floor, desks, and counters, and said, “Stephanie, all this can wait. Your new students just want you and for you to teach them.” Her little chat with me and her sweet presence calmed me and encouraged me to hold my head up, persevere, and to just teach.

The year was a success! I still have former students come up to me and tell me something about that year…and it was all good too. God gave me grace and much perseverance that first year.

I loved teaching back then. I was teaching beside my best friend, Kerri, and lifelong friend, Danna. Creativity was poured into each lesson, students enjoyed coming to school, when they didn’t understand something we were able to take the time to dig a little deeper, and teaching was just FUN and REWARDING.

After spending 2 ½ years at Springhead, Tim and I moved to Kissimmee, Florida for his work (We had married in October of 1991). I had the opportunity to teach second grade at a new year-round school. I LOVED IT!!!! The school was definitely proactive, forward in their teaching, and challenging. Stressful at timtes? You bet! I learned to say “No”, and prioritize better. I met wonderful friends (Elizabeth, Judy, Dianne, and many more) whom I still am in contact with today, even though we are all scattered across the country. The year-round concept was fabulous! I had the pleasure to write curriculum for the county and for the school at a newly developed community, Celebration.

Stop! I feel like I’m giving my resume. Ugh!

Here’s the deal…

  • We came back home,
  • Had three children,
  • Taught school for two more years, stayed home eleven years, went back to teaching, and still teaching today.

During these years many things have changed. Teaching styles, class sizes, students, the love for the job vs. the love of teaching (Yikes! That’s a whole other journal entry. Teaching isn’t as fun, creative, and enjoyable anymore.) On a more positive thought, all I’m going to say now is:

  • I still love teaching.
  • I pray for (and sometimes with) my students.
  • God’s given me a wonderful and at times challenge mission field.
  • I lean on God more and more each day.
  • I’m blessed to be able to have a job that I enjoy my co-workers and bosses.

Advice to young folks…find something you enjoy doing and discover a way to make money doing it. You need to love doing what you are doing in life. Persevere, lean on God, and allow your occupation to be a mission field for Christ.

My go-to bible verses over the years:

  • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9
  • And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these troubles make us more patient.And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope.And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.”  Romans 5:3-5
  • Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

I pray that you will enjoy soaking up The Son every moment of each day. –Stephanie

Don’t forget to share your photos of sunrises and sunsets on social media and use the hashtag #soakinguptheson.

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