Just a little over two years ago, I shadowed my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Newton at Lighthouse Christian School. It was spring break 2016 and I was home for a week from Spokane where I was student teaching Kindergarten in a Title I school. I was interested in seeing what it would be like to teach the same grade level in a Christian school versus a public school (Mrs. Newton was now teaching Kindergarten) .
Student teaching in a Title I school had opened my eyes to a whole different ball game in the teaching world. My elementary experience at Lighthouse was night and day different to what school was like in the public school system. The biggest missing component from teaching in the public schools was being able to share my faith and God’s love with students who were in my class. I knew that if I was to teach in a public school, I’d never have the liberty to do so.
After that day of shadowing my sweet 1st grade teacher in her Kindergarten classroom, God laid on my heart the desire to teach in a Christian school. And my “dream job” was to teach at Lighthouse, but it was a far stretch considering I lived in Spokane and Lighthouse was a mere 5 and a half hours away.
After graduating and receiving my teaching certificate in November 2016, my husband and I married on New Year’s Eve and moved into our new apartment in Spokane. We decided staying in Spokane was the best choice instead of moving back to the West side of Washington where we both grew up. He was applying to firefighting jobs in both Eastern and Western Washington, so we decided it would be wise for me to substitute teach instead of apply for a full time job. In the event he got hired 5 hours away from Spokane, I wouldn’t have the issue of trying to move in the middle of a school year.
I subbed in many Title I schools in the Spokane school district for a year and I started to question my desire to become a teacher. I had never had a harder job in my entire life (it beat my nanny job for two year old twin boys by a long shot) and stretched my limits in more ways than I could count. Many days I’d come home completely burnt out and break down crying.
Substitute teaching in difficult Title I schools without principal or teacher support is something I don’t ever wish upon anybody. But as difficult as it was, it grew me as a teacher very quickly and pushed me to rely on Jesus as my source of strength and joy when I felt like giving up.
After almost a full year year of living in Spokane, Luke and I made the decision to move back to Western Washington where there were many more firefighting job opportunities and we would be closer to both of our families.
Two weeks before our 1 year wedding anniversary, we moved into our new apartment in University Place. Luke got a job as an EMT with AMR while he continued to apply to firefighting jobs and I applied to the University Place school district to continue substitute teaching. Luke and I decided that since we were now on the west side of Washington and within commuting distance of all the stations Luke would be applying to, it was finally a good time for me to apply for my first full time teaching job.
I had teachers in the University Place school district telling me daily they had openings in their schools and wanted me to apply, but I had one school on my mind. My heart still desired more than anything to teach in a Christian school, and I was now just a short 15 minutes from Lighthouse.
I applied to substitute teach at Lighthouse Christian and who would you guess is now the principal? My 6th and 7th grade teacher, Mr. Roddy. It was a sweet reunion to reconnect with many of my teachers that I had as a student at Lighthouse and I felt right at home my first day subbing at LCS.
I knew that my desire to teach at Lighthouse was just as strong as before, so I applied for a full time teaching position right away. After receiving news that I got an interview, I prepared and prayed for God’s guidance for my future. I had an overwhelming peace going into the interview. I knew if God wanted me at Lighthouse, He would open the door and if He didn’t, He had something else in store for me.
After finishing the interview, I waited for what felt like the longest week of my life to hear if I got the job or not. Eight days later I found out I had landed my dream job at the one and only school I applied to. Praise the Lord!
I can’t express how overjoyed I am to be teaching at a school I LOVE and where I can openly teach about Jesus and His love for my sweet students.
God is so good (whether I got the job or not) and I see His fingerprints all over this entire process of waiting on the Lord through the difficult season.
Here’s to a FUN and EXCITING year with my future 3rd graders!
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
P.S. If you made it to the end of this post you’re in for a treat…. This is me as a third grader at Lighthouse. LOL. I will definitely be hanging this outside the door of my classroom.