Some would say student teaching is helping give me experience in teaching and leading a classroom – I would agree with them. In fact, I would tell those people that I am even growing as a “teacher” in the teaching field. I am learning about lesson planning, interacting with parents of students, classroom parties, helping the students who do not get it and giving extensions to those who do, and a whole lot more. Some days, student teaching does not feel very rewarding, and other times the rewards are immediate. Overall, through the ups and downs of student teaching, it is safe to say that I am growing.
However, growth is not just evident in teaching, but in my spiritual walk as well. The more challenged I have been during student teaching, the more I turn to Scripture and prayer. Along with Scripture and prayer, I have been reading a book titled, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, by John Ortberg. In it, Ortberg brings up the topic of being spiritually disciplined and how to work toward it. Ortberg uses the analogy of a runner training and asserts that “there is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something” (Ortberg 43).
Lately, I have been viewing my spiritual walk with God as one to train for; because of this, the idea of disciplining myself does not sound so threatening. I do not feel uncomfortable when I think about disciplining myself because I know it is a process. In the case of “trying” and “training,” the one aspect of training that separates itself from trying is the idea that training is a process. Whenever you try, there is the likelihood of failing simply because you are not trained enough to succeed; whenever you train, you are in the process of getting to a point where you can succeed.
Much like student teaching, I am not merely trying to teach, but training myself to become an effective full-time teacher. I am not trying to be a more disciplined Christian, but I am training to be more like Christ. I am taking on activities that will challenge me to become a better Christian man. This connection has helped me understand my walk with God in a much better light. Instead of my walk being a constant effort to try an succeed, but failing, I am starting to see my relationship with God as a training session where me being corrected, instructed, and guided is building me spiritually stronger. Instead of my walk with God being a reminder that I fail, I can look in the mirror and recognize it is a process.
So, continue training for the day when you will be judged by God. Continue striving to be like Christ by taking part in activities that properly train you. Do not give up, and remember that the training has only begun.