Every year at this time, Educators are given an opportunity to reflect on the closing school year. At current, it is the Professional Development and Appraisal System that is completed at the beginning of each school year with a Teacher’s Self-Report Part I Section and ends with a Teacher’s Self-Report Parts II & III and an Administrator’s evaluation.
I have made it a habit of reflecting on my Teacher’s Self-Reports at the end of every year. We all have majors plans on how we want are classes set-up, what type of technology we would like to incorporate and of course, the ever popular Rules and Consequences of how the class is to be conducted. There are also non-negotiables on this report. Curriculum or the TEKS Objectives and Assessments are non-negotiables. You must deliver instruction using the state objectives and/or curriculum and conduct assessments.
It got me to thinking… When a couple first gets married, what are your non-negotiables? What are your plans in the beginning? How are you going to assess whether you’re meeting your objectives? And how will you make adjustments when things don’t go according to plan?
Over 15 years in the Field of Education has taught me that you can make all the plans in the world, but the real test is when the bell rings at 8:30 am and you have a classroom full of bright, young minds just waiting to be awakened staring at you. After all, you are the Expert, aren’t you? Believe me when I tell you that is what all the students are thinking. And FYI, first impressions are lasting impressions. How you begin is how you need to end. All of your blood, sweat and tears are about to be tested in ways you never even imagined and whether you’re a novice or a veteran, each year brings about different challenges and triumphs.
Just like a marriage, when the Clergy pronounces you husband and wife and presents you to your family and friends. Everyone is thinking, wow… they made it! This is so beautiful! And because their novice, they are only thinking about the blood, sweat and tears it took just to get married. No one is really focusing on what it’s going to take to stay married. After all, it’s till death do us part. Speaking as a veteran of 26 years this year to be exact (Shout out to those of you who are keeping track and praying us onward.), we are tapping each other and saying, “Now, let’s see what this couple is really made of.” After all, they are now the Experts, aren’t they?
Reflection is defined as serious thought or consideration; contemplation or meditation. What are you contemplating or meditating on? In mathematics it is defined as a transformation in which a geometric figure is reflected across a line, creating a mirror image. What lines have you crossed?
Reflection brings me to the mind set of what you see when you look into the mirror. Everyone sees different things when they look into a mirror. Some see perfection, some see the need to fix something; either on their face or somewhere else, and some see complete disasters. WOW! But as a Husband sometimes I see a Reflection of my wife. Oh yeah, I said, "sometimes." Because I see flaws in me as a Husband that needs a lot of corrections, my failures that have occurred during our Marriage, and sometimes I see Ugly Male Pride that has stood in the way of Conflict Resolution.
Reflection means to look back… what's looking back at you? Spouses want their partners to see perfection at all time, but inside we really know that we are like little children reaching for the goodies on the top shelf but it’s just a little out of our reach. We know it’s up there but, "will we ever get it?”. We carry on each day with the mindset that perfection is coming constantly asking, when? While also answering, "It’s almost there".
The Joy of Reflecting also enables us to look forward and not repeat. If that didn't work the first time, then it might not be a good idea to do it again. You know, looking into the Mirror Dimly, I Cor. 13:12 NKJV says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” The only problem is that without the right cleaning solution you could really end up with just a big blur, then you won’t be able to see anything clearly. Kind of like that Ugly Male Pride I spoke about earlier. In order for it to really get Clean, it has to be wiped away by using the Forgiving, Healing, and Sustaining Blood of JESUS!!! Then we can see perfection more reachable and the sheer Beauty of our Wives.
The Chef and The Ref, as we are more affectionately called, are just two individuals who God joined together in the Spirit and then in the Natural to walk through the challenges of life together. We have been married for 27 years and have four amazing children. We get many calls, text and emails asking us questions about a variety of topics as it relates to marriage. This blog was inspired by the Holy Spirit and an answer to the growing demand of couples who inquire about our experiences in marriage as it relates to their own. We do not make any claims of being anything more than two sinners, saved by grace who wanted to give couples an opportunity to have safe conversations that will make their marriage stronger. The Chef and The Ref are both licensed and ordained Ministers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wanted to create a safe platform for married couples to converse about a variety of topics.