I woke up this morning with eight hours left in my fourth year teaching.

Although it doesn’t sound like much- I have done some math. With 170 days in a school year, eight hours a day, I have spent 1,360 hours with my students this year. 1,360 hours over four years = 80 students and 5,440 hours teaching future generations reading, math, writing, science, social studies, and the countless conversations about being kind and a good friend.

If I calculate weekends and breaks, assuming that I spend 12 hours a day with my own child, I spent 1,248 hours with her this school year. And even some of that time was spent grading papers, entering grades, cutting lamination, or preparing lessons.

I’m not immediately ready to reflect on my year, but I always get to that point. My focus becomes less on packing boxes and more on the year spent learning and growing. I too learn and grow.

While reflecting, I realize that I spend more of my time in the four walls of my classroom than I do in my home. I spend more time with my students, than I do with my child. I spend more time with my colleagues than I do with my husband.

So with all of this time spent, was it spent well?

Well, even with the 1,360 hours that I spent with these kids- it wasn’t enough. I had seventeen students (more math) so if you take that time and divide it up equally between each one I only spent 113 hours with each. 113 hours to prepare them for the third grade, to make sure they progressed and grew, and left me more respectful and a better friend than they came to me.

113 hours is about 5 full 24 hour days, less than 3 forty hour weeks. So what appears to be thousands of hours, really isn’t all that much.

So, was the little bit of time that I had well spent?

It is possible to work in a field where religion and state are separate and still have a godly focus.

My classroom is nothing less than a mission field. I always said I couldn’t be a missionary- God sure showed me. I however, am a missionary that cannot speak about God. My actions literally have to speak louder than my words.

If God were tangibly in my classroom everyday would he be pleased? Is he proud of the work I have done this year? Because ultimately, it is he that I am working for.

So at the end of every year, I ask myself if I have truly done my job unto the Lord.

There were days where I was almost out of grace, and God flooded me with the fact that his grace never runs out and I kept giving.

There were days that I was physically and mentally exhausted, and we did reading groups anyways- because you really only have 113 hours.

There were days that Spark wasn’t enough and I graciously smiled as each child entered my room.

I came in every morning and touched each child’s chair and surrendered their life, while I had them, to him.

I read my devotional each morning as a moment to say God it’s already been a crazy morning, but I give this day to you, these next eight hours.

there. Were. Days.

God knows my heart, my love, and my compassion for the students that I had.

I DID my job unto him. I PLEASED him. I gave my all, and then some.

Now that I have reflected on this past year, I can’t help but to think about the next. I know things that I will do differently and things that I will focus on more.

But tonight, I’m packing.

I’m going to the beach.

& I still know that IN ALL THINGS God works for the good of those that love him.

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