Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Teaching Life

My dear readers, I have not forgotten about you, but I have started teaching, and my life looks radically different than it did before. Translation: I work something like a 50-60 hour work week - before I bring my work home with me.

Now I understand why teaching is a calling, because it isn’t just a job; it is a way of life.

How does this affect my writing?


Let’s just say I’m squirreling away antidotes and character ideas for summertime. And after only two weeks of teaching, my storehouse is already looking fairly healthy. I’ll share one of my personal favorites with you.

Homework over the weekend? Whaaaatttt???

It’s hard to believe that students are already complaining about homework after only two weeks of school. Last week, my American history class thought that if enough of them complained, maybe they wouldn’t have homework over the weekend. (Don’t bother explaining to them that your work as a teacher never ends, and don’t expect them to appreciate the care you take and hours you put in to provide them a quality education. They really don’t care.)

So, I suggested we review the meaning of democracy and republic.
  • Democracy: rule by majority opinion
  • Republic: rule by elected representatives

Hmm, the classroom is not a democracy, is it? Nope. It’s more like a republic where an elected official (i.e. the teacher chosen to teach the class) makes the decisions with the best interests of the group at heart.

Certainly, that person takes the time to listen to what the people have to say, but in the end, he or she makes the best decision based on the information available.

Oh, and let’s not forget to review the pitfall of democracies… Right, the majority opinion is often wrong.

Ok, let’s move back to the lesson now.

The challenge
Whether you’re a teacher or someone with demands pulling on your resources, finding the time to recharge your battery and make time for what you love can be hard.
Your work should be rewarding, and you should certainly give it your best, but your work alone isn’t everything.
Make time for the people who matter and prioritize your pursuits. I know I am learning how to find the balance myself.
So what’s the status with book 3? Well, the rough draft is on my desk. My goal is to publish over the summer in time for an early fall release (in plenty of time for Christmas).
Any hints about the plot, you ask? Let’s just say plenty of adventure, surprises and life changes are in store.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Time for a new adventure

So far, 2013 has been a year of goals met and adventures had. I quit my day job to spend more time writing. (And by the way, the first rough draft for book number three is done!) My brother and I hiked 22 miles in the Grand Canyon. A week later, I helped chaperone a youth mission trip to New York to run a Christian day camp.

Now, I’m starting a new adventure: full-time teaching at a private Christian school. Frankly, I never thought I would be a teacher. People have told me I would make a good one; I just wasn't sure education was the job for me.

But if I’ve learned anything from the last several years, it’s that God’s plan is not what I mapped out – It is better.  

So here I am, making lesson plans, plotting out the first semester, and getting excited for school to start. Reality hit me when I was shopping last week, and a voice behind me said, “Miss Hogrefe, you’re going to be my 8th grade teacher!”

Appropriately, I was reading in Isaiah today, and chapter 41 verse 10 reminded me that no matter what lies ahead, my God will always be there to help me.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
What about you? Are you beginning something new? Perhaps you are persevering through a difficult time or maybe working hard to finish a major project. Regardless, the future holds new adventures and challenges for each of us.

The time is now to get ready and go in the strength of the Lord.