This morning when I was swimming I noticed something and it stuck with me. If you look at any lap pool or competition pool there are usually sets of flag markers at each end of the pool. They notify the swimmer that the edge is near and if you are doing backstroke this is a very important fact to know. Most elite swimmers know their stroke count and can easily come into their flip turn at the wall. Well this morning only one side had the flags so I began to notice a pattern while I was swimming that got me thinking. I can easily apply this to my faith but I'm thinking I can apply this to my teaching year as well.
What I noticed even though I've been a swimmer for 35 years was that when I swam one way I swam with confidence, no dipping my head back under water to look for the wall ( while swimming backstroke ). I would count my strokes and flip into my turn effortlessly. But ~ as I went back the other direction somewhere around 3/4th of the way there I would fidget, look back underwater, lose the rhythm of my stroke a bit to see the wall. I finally decided that I would only swim backstroke one direction and do freestyle the other way for a set. My first thought was this is so much like my walk with the Lord!
When I'm in His word, commited to my daily devotions, praying for situations and others I am confident not looking back, not fidgety - walking close to my Father. When I'm not doing these things I'm like the backstroker without those flags. I question myself more often, I am cautious trying to keep myself safe/protected.
If this doesn't apply in your life you can also compare it to your teaching journey I suppose. My first year or so I was seeking approval, certainly less confident and maybe at times a bit fidgety or nervous. ( especially when being observed ). Now after 20 years in this profession I feel like I'm swimming down the side with the flags. I don't need approval, I'm more confident in my abilities - yet still keep my self in check. When I swim down the side with the flags I'm not so confident that I swim with my eyes closed. That wouldn't be smart! I still look for the flags. Well as a veteran teacher I still keep myself in check. Am I needing to call an SST on this little one? Have I followed through on that committe I signed up for? Yes I'm able to do my job more effortlessly but I still look for the flags to be sure I'm on track and giving my students or my Heavenly Father the best of me! Where do you fall in this scenario? Are you looking back without flags floundering a little, are you so confident your eyes are closed or are you confidently still looking for the flags to guide you as you teach or walk with the Lord?
With all that being said: Here are my tips for a new teacher:
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and tell us your tips for new teachers!