Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Courage: Moving from Discouraged to Encouraged

So I haven't been blogging lately. I don't feel like I have time. I've fallen into fall and am still waiting to hit bottom. Every week since school started something new has been added on to the schedule. Piano, soccer, homeschool group, college class, work. One huge balancing act. It's the tyranny of the urgent until we get the rhythm down of the fall schedule.

And I have to say I am feeling discouraged. Even now as I am surrounded by a messy house and the girlios are just one phrase away from another fight (or weeping), I feel guilty about sitting down to type. The to-do's call, plead and scream. I've spent most of the day mulling over homework problems for class tonight, and two of them still elude me.

I have a lot to be encouraged about. This weekend during my 20 miler (I only had to do 18) I passed the 600 mile mark for the year. My pace was awesome for me. I am pretty sure the Garmin lies (in my favor). My girlios are healthy and doing well in homeschool. My husband and I still love to cuddle and talk late into the night. We just got a new bed and after a few nights of adjustment, I sleep solid. The weather is cooler. The praise list could go on and on.

I find it amazing, the power of one thing, to undermine my confidence. I am taking another math class this semester. It's a doozy. It's uncomfortable. The material (differential equations) and the classroom environment are uncomfortable. Why can't it be as easy as calculus? Why isn't there another gal in class? Why do I have to be the oldest? Why does it seem to be so cryptic? Why do the problems take so long? It's exhausting. And it's discouraging. You may be saying, as I also say to myself, that the other people in class shouldn't matter. Unfortunately, environment matters. Blocking it out is tiring. For many years, I would have told you that there were no differences between girls and boys. Then I had girls.

Anyway, I've been processing my discouragement. Yesterday, I taught my first day of 5k running and fitness class at our homeschool group. We are doing the couch to 5k plan, and yesterday was day one. I have 17 kids in class. Some are already runners, and some have never run before. My pace puts me near the back of the pack. I am okay with that, but it has to be discouraging for some of the newbies. I am so proud of all of them. So excited! They did awesome, but they may not be feeling awesome. I can think of a few people that may be very discouraged with how it went. I want them to stick with it, see improvement and be encouraged with themselves. I want them to make the move from discouragement to encouragement. Have courage. Do their best and forget the rest. Advice I should take to heart.

Being a teacher and a student at the same time has many privileges. I learn about both sides of the relationship. In November, I will be taking the state certification test for math and if I pass it and this class, I'll be submitting my 24+ hours of math to add a math endorsement on my teaching certificate. Although I am struggling in this class, I am trying to be the student I would want my students to be - asking questions of the teacher, making connections in class and seeking out other sources for a better understanding. I remind myself that it is good for me to empathize with future students that I will have and even current ones. This feeling I have, discouragement, is not foreign to many people regarding math. I really do want to be part of the solution.

So if there is anything in your life right now, like me, that is causing you discouragement, may I encourage you, as I am trying to encourage myself.

Have courage. Be strong and courageous.

On that note I have to go; I have two more problems to wrestle with.

1 comment:

  1. I hope the class is getting better. You have such a great attitude about it all- I have no doubt you'll succeed :)