Thursday, May 7, 2015


I have been praying the Alcoholics Anonymous prayer, also known as the Serenity prayer.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  The courage to change the things I can.  And the wisdom to know the difference."

I have read that prayer dozens of time - thought it was a beautiful sentiment and moved on.  That prayer isn't for me. There's nothing that cannot be changed.  Identify the problem.  Develop a plan of action.  Execute. Problem Solved.  Move on to next problem.  Change occurs every day if you work hard enough, follow the chain of command, and model the solution.

It seems lately I keep running into situations where there is a brick wall.  The walls won't move. It ticks me off.  I push a little harder.  I look around and ask am I the only one seeing this wall?  I look at the wall from different angles and think of how it can be taken down brick by brick.  The wall has got to go.

It stays. The prayer takes on a different meaning for me.  I don't doubt that change will come. I am just now learning to accept that I won't be the one to drive the wrecking ball through the wall. We're giving the MAP test at my school.  I remember listening to my first principal talk to me about MAP scores 16 years ago when I asked him if I could teach reading in guided reading groups.  He asked me if I thought it would help MAP scores.  I remember thinking in my head I really don't care.  I did not become a teacher to help students pass a test.  I became a teacher because I love to read and I know teachers can change lives.  I've written my Congress members, commented on Facebook posts trying to educate the public, voted for like-minded politicians, started following DESE on Twitter (so far they haven't given me one gold star), but the conversation still comes down to one test.  I want to beat this wall senseless.

I see the walls, and  I am asking God about it.  Are you wanting me to shut up, climb over it, or just bust it down?  Please don't make me live with it.  1 John 3:20 tells us "that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."  He knows why those walls are there even when I don't, and this is where serenity is needed most:  the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Serenity when I feel the complete opposite.  I love the thought though that He knows when the wrecking ball will deliver its fatal blow.  So I am tacking on a little something to the serenity prayer.  Please let me live long enough to see change come. Amen!