Friday, June 19, 2015

Trying to follow the example of St. Francis. Trying ...

There is a story of St. Francis on e time becoming the target of a porter's abuse, with the porter accusing him of all sort of things, and calling him names. St. Francis did not argue back or challenge what the porter said or did to him. He humbly accepted it, and thanked God instead. The saint called it perfect joy.

I was thinking of that story the last couple of days.

At work, I had created a local version of a national course that was very successful and popular. My students scored much higher than the national average on the test. It was my favorite course. I was proud of it, and invested a lot in cresting and constantly improving it. But perhaps the course was too popular. Last year, I had to deal with a huge enrollment split among multiple sections, and was overwhelmed by the paper-grading load. I was constantly exhausted, fell behind in getting papers back in a timely fashion, and coupled with depression, withdrew from a lot of activities and spoke about the paper load and complained, probably too much. My big mouth.

Anyway, the principal, who had to hire a new teacher anyway, hired one who was certified to teach that particular course. I thought he was going to divide the sections of the course between us. No such luck. He gave all the sections to the new teacher. I was given some regular classes, and some fluff courses.

Maybe the principal thought he was helping me, given the obvious strain I had been under, but I took it as a demotion. It also didn't help that he recruited this new teacher, based on contacts through friends.

When I asked why I had totally lost the class, not even getting one section, he replied that he thought this teacher was better qualified to teach it.

That hurt. As I mentioned, when I taught the course my students scored well above the national average. In addition, I now have to turn over all my successful lessons and plans to this new teacher.

Part of me wanted to argue. Part of me wanted to cite the scores. Part of me wanted to point out that the course became so popular because of the students' success, because of the way I have developed the course, because of my teaching style that students seemed to like.

But that might make things worse.

And then I thought of St. Francis. He accepted the porter's misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

And I thought of Fr. Solanus Casey, another role model who humbly accepted whatever role he was given.

I will accept it. I will. I will follow their lead. But right now I am struggling with that. I have to be careful not to comment, make sarcastic comments, ply the martyr. I need to do the best job that I can with the courses I have.

But it's not easy.

The fact that I'm writing this shows I am not there yet.

St. Francs, Father Solanus, please pray for me.

Pax et bonum

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