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I love my calling! As a Lutheran school teacher, I get to teach my students about Jesus. I helped to build their knowledge of the world He created. I actually enjoyed teaching during this 2020–2021 school year. My class had fun as “Roomies” and “Zoomies,” and I loved being able to help nurture my nieces every day. I was soaking in each moment of the chapter I was living, so when I received an opportunity to consider a Call, it took me by surprise.

During the call process, I quickly realized I had many reasons to stay and just as many reasons to go. I received a lot of advice and spiritual reminders. The one that kept circling in my head was Deuteronomy 31:8. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Just as God went before and was with Joshua and the Israelites, I trusted that God would go before me and would be with me, just as He had promised. This gave me the confidence to take the leap of faith.

Once I accepted the Call to St. Luke’s, someone asked why I wanted to “start over.” I was taken back at first, wondering if I was expected to share a bad experience, but I didn’t have one to share. In fact, I didn’t want to completely “start over.” I value what I’ve learned and I want to build on it, not start from scratch! Instead of seeing my new role as a way to “start over,” I reframe it in my head as a “new chapter.”

When I walked into my classroom the walls were blank, just like a blank page. The page, however, won’t be blank for long. I have new ideas, my coworkers have ideas that are new to me, and we’ll be able to collaborate and complement each other’s skills and personalities. I don’t know what this next chapter holds for me, but I know Who’s writing it!

No matter if you’re starting this coming school year in a new role, at a new school, teaching for the first time, or are in the same grade and subject you’re used to, this approaching school year gives us all a new chapter to our story.

Consider your goals for this year when planning for this chapter.

Advice

  1. Leave room for margins. Prioritize time for devotions, reflection, and rejuvenation.
  2. Listen and learn. Allow being around new teachers in a new school to give you new perspectives and ideas.
  3. Be bold. Introduce your coworkers to ideas you have, especially if you’ve had success with them.

I like having go-to-phrases that remind me of my values as I live out my vocation. I encourage you to adopt a verse, phrase, or word that reminds you of your goals for this new school year.

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Esther Dunlop has a passion for STEM education and currently teaches 4th grade at St. Luke’s in Oviedo, Florida. She started her career teaching preschool, then fourth grade at Immanuel Lutheran in Olivette, Mo.

1 Comment

  1. Kojo Brako on July 28, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Wonderful!!

    Please, how can I share our stories of the Lutheran teachers in Ghana?

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