"We all received an email from [our assistant principal], in which he stated, 'I hope at some point this week you felt appreciated.' Well, that very day I was called 'racist' by one student, 'idiot' by another, 'you're fucking stupid' from another, 'gay' from another, hit by a pencil, almost hit by a calculator, and not to mention all the usual ways I get disrespected by adolescents. At one point in the week, I did feel appreciated: I received a goody bag with my name on it that had candies in it, in addition to a granola bar I got in my mailbox. I put both of them on my chair behind my desk ...and guess what... THEY WERE STOLEN BY MY STUDENTS!"
I realized that I learned a TON that year. Looking back, I knew that time of my life was God opening my eyes and humbling me to all the crap that goes on in this world. I needed to see how such a shitty job was actually a realistic representation of the every day lives that some of those students I taught go through day after day. I know now that because I took teaching so personally and wanted to improve, God had been preparing me for something better in the future.
Giving up when the times are tough is not the attitude that Jesus portrays for us in His exemplary life. He showed us that when the going gets tough, that's when we are in the best position to cry out to God and ask Him to help us see the bigger picture.
When I look back on Ontario now, 2.5 years later, I now see more positives than I see negatives. Even though that job was one of the most painful experiences of my life, I think about Ontario now as a time of growth. We had a great time spending time with friends from church, serving others in the community, walking Nolan in the stroller around the town, spending time together as a family at home, and learning about how God prunes us when we don't expect to be pruned.