A few thoughts on teaching as I sit on top of my first semester in the trenches, all wise and worldly now. One of the main motivators for me to become a teacher, as I briefly mentioned before, is to take a personal stand against the epidemic of selfishness that I think our world suffers from. That I personally suffer from. It is an expression of my Christianity, where I put in to action the principles of service that I hold dear. But here is where things get squishy for me. Principles and ideals have been of little service to me as I deal with the daily realities of my job. The stress and overworkedness and general gritty realities that I wade through have blurred the lines of pretty much everything. There are too many immediate priorities to worry much about ideals. I'm talking both about the ideals of becoming a fantastic teacher and also the ideals of being an agent of good in the world. It's complicated.

 In my desire to become less selfish I think the reverse has happened. In reaction to the exhaustion of my job, I look for immediate comforts on a daily basis rather than managing my life in a holistic and strategic way.

 In my desire to be of service of those less fortunate than I, I have moved into a season of my life when I cannot serve my close friends and family. That is a privilege I took for granted and not realize I did not take full advantage of when it was more available to me.

 In my desire to incorporate good works as an expression of my faith, I have taken a job where the daily realities have made me question the clear lines of my faith. The world is a messy place. The Savior spent his time with the marginalized members of society, but I am having a hard time doing it (on a much lesser scale) without losing a little hope.

Lest I leave you with a sense that I am in the fits of despair or hating my new career, let me articulate that I am strangely but profoundly happy. It is exceedingly hard work but I am grateful to be doing it in the season that I am able. I know it will get easier. I know I will get better. I know in very small ways I am making a positive impact and in truth, small ways are all we really ever have at our disposal.


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