The following is a list of all entries from the education category.
Good Christians usually don’t talk about ambition. Maybe we call it “holy ambition” because if we add “holy” it makes it OK. I’ve read some of the Christian response to “Lean In”, and in a nutshell my take is that we Christians are uncomfortable with ambition. I’m afraid, however, that perhaps we have mistaken humility as the antithesis of ambition.
And as a result Christian women maybe even more uncomfortable with ambition. I’m uncomfortable talking about it with Christian women until we’ve established some level of safety. I need to know they won’t judge me. That they won’t think I don’t love my children or my husband or my gender because I am considering applying for a promotion.
Sheryl Sandberg is in your face about it.
“This book makes the case for leaning in for being ambitious in any pursuit,” p. 10 (see, still in the intro!)
Any pursuit. Hmmmm.
As Christian woman I have found it much more acceptable to be ambitious on the home front. Live for your kids and husband, perhaps in that order, because your husband isn’t around during the day and part of the evening, but that’s another chapter. Keep a clean and orderly home. Buy, make, grow, or raise the best, healthiest what-would-Jesus-eat food for your family. Be crafty and a wise steward of money. Be a godly wife and mother.
And that works well, particularly if you are married with children, and that life is something you want and you and your husband willingly agree to.
But not all of us Christian women want that. I want some of that, but I also want to work outside of my home. I enjoy teaching, preaching, speaking, and training. I love it, really. I enjoy writing, and I want to do more of it because (and I say this in a hushed voice) I think I’m good at it. I enjoy developing those skills as much as I enjoy hearing my husband unload the dishwasher (he really is doing that right now) after I’ve whipped up an amazing meal (that I didn’t do tonight).
My Christian Asian American parents helped me pay for college, and I enjoy stewarding that gift by also stewarding my gifts of leadership outside of the home. But I know that they have mixed feelings about my sister being a stay-at-home mom after getting a degree in business and about the amount of travel I choose to take on even though I have a husband.
I just don’t know if it’s OK to say that I have ambitions outside of my home. My home life ambitions have been affirmed in Church. My professional ones? Not so much.
Is it OK to tell people I have ambitions? Do you tell people you have ambitions? Would you describe yourself as ambitious?
Sure, they get summers “off” and if they work in the same school district as their children attend attend school they “share” vacation days. Yes, their workday “ends” with the final bell.
But I actually don’t know those teachers. I remember seeing my teachers working part-time jobs in the mall during summers. I spent more hours after school with many of my teachers than I did with my own family. And I finally figured out that those days off that I got as a student were work days for my teachers.
This week as the parent of a child in the high school, middle school and grade school, I’ve received volunteer notices for teacher appreciation events sponsored by amazing parents who are involved in the schools. My contribution will be cases of water for one of the luncheons.
But I am thankful for each one of my kids’ teachers. My hope and prayer is that each one of my kids will have teachers who make a subject become a passion or make a bad day of adolescent survival better. Not every school district or teacher gets a luncheon this week, but each of us can thank a teacher.
I am thankful for:
Miss Chioles, my kindergarten teacher at Waters Elementary School, Chicago. I remember her black hair and red nail polish, and I remember how she didn’t ignore the Asian girl who couldn’t speak English.
The librarian at Waterbury Elementary School. I’m so sorry I can’t remember your name right now. You introduced me to science fiction through Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and took a bunch of us to Wheaton College to hear her speak. I still have my signed copy, and L’Engle’s “Two Part Invention” makes me laugh out loud.
Mr. Weinberger, my elementary/junior high school band teacher…at least I think that is his name. He didn’t see us as a bunch of kids. He saw us as musicians. And when he picked out music for solo & ensemble contests I thought he was crazy. I think I can still play part of that piece from memory.
Mr. Studt, my speech team coach at Lake Park High School. He was brutally honest with me. He told me I didn’t have a future as an actress, but I could kick butt as a orator. He taught me about pacing, using the stage, eye contact, inflections, gesturing, and research. He taught me about the power of my voice.
Mrs. Umlauf, my first journalism advisor at Lake Park High School. She handed back to me my first red-marker massacred news story assignment and eventually asked me back to lead the sports section. I was hooked. She taught me about the power of words.
Mr. Ciske, my second journalism advisor at LHS. He made producing an unappreciated high school newspaper fun, and he inspired me to peak after high school. He also taught me the value of respect by respecting me not as a student but as a journalist.
Ms. Steinbring, my photography class teacher at LHS. She made me see that a world in black and white was incredibly beautiful and worth the patience. She was also my class council advisor; she made leading fun.
Who were the teachers you appreciate(d) the most? What did they teach you?