Have you ever been in a position you didn't want to be in, but you had to make it work even though you didn't want to be in that position to begin with? 🥴 Well friend, you're in the right place!
Let me start by reintroducing myself... I am Tamia Breshaé of EPIC Brand, LLC. I have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Art in Psychology, specializing in Child & Adolescent Psychology. I started EPIC in 2020 during the pandemic and it has since expanded. It started as a believer clothing brand, but now we're a peace hub! Crazy right? I know! But that's not the position I didn't want to be in... in fact, I'd wanted to start my own business a couple of years before that AND I wanted to do a bunch of different things with it.
That's not where my conflict lies...
My conflict lies with my current new job. Backstory: I worked for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for about 5 years as a Teacher Assistant II (TA). As my life began to shift & change, I knew my time there was up along with the toxicity I was experiencing and wanting to move out of the city. I no longer wanted to be there and I wanted a new job. I had been applying to new jobs for months and I finally got a call for an interview with another school district within Illinois. The position didn't require me to be in the classroom all day -- because it can get overwhelming being an educator -- and I felt that it was moving a tad bit closer to my goal. I went through the process and got hired. I started at one school in what was supposed to be a Learning Loss Instructor position - I was supposed to pull early intervention small groups with students that were struggling, whether behavioral or academic. I looked forward to it because it was a step up from being a TA, it paid more and it was out of CPS so I could move.
Of course I took the job.
Things were going well until I was not provided with clear duties as it pertained to the school I was assigned to. It became frustrating as I wasn't allowed the time to do what I was hired to do, but became a glorified substitute. Eventually, it got to a point where matters were resolved and I was able to begin doing what I was hired to do, but the principal didn't like my boundaries that distinguished my personal time from my work time. Long story less long, I was transferred to another school in that district, which is where I am now.
There were a lot of falsities that came after I accepted the job and they continued as I transferred; I was told that I'd be doing the same position I was hired for, but that was and still is not the case. I was still... you guessed it - a substitute teacher. It was really frustrating because I was thrilled about the learning loss position, but was never given the opportunity to move in it. This position only further reminded me of the mishap with my masters degree (that's a story for a different day) and how I needed to quickly do what I needed to complete my "ultimate" goal of becoming a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
I'm currently a substitute special education teacher and when I started, the original teacher of the classroom was on leave and she came back a week after I started. She was told to allow me to take the lead because she hadn't been there. It required me to stand my ground on the schedule & curriculum that I'd created (yes, I had to create it) and keep the classroom in order. She of course tried to change the schedule, but I couldn't allow it. It was a challenge; I would rather have just let her take over and do it because I didn't want to do it anyway, but I couldn't because then the children would've been let down so I had to do as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23) until I get released. It required me to be confident and courageous in a place I had no idea I could do and a place I didn't want to be in and am uncomfortable in.
This same morning, I had just ran the stream for Morning Meets with God and the Lord was calling out timidity. It was surely a test & a lesson.
What makes it crazier?
The confidence and courage wasn't even in MY ability because it isn't my [studied] field, but it's in God THROUGH this.
You might think my education prepared me to do this, but not exactly. My education allows me room for understanding in a classroom setting, but I wasn't trained to be a teacher, but a therapist. I view things from a clinical standpoint. What has helped me in teaching is some of it coming naturally, my personal experience and then everything I've acquired while being a TA in CPS. Also, having learned how children learn & develop, it allows me to develop strategy around that information. God has been the one who has connected all of these avenues of information and has put me in a space that has pulled the builder out of me.
Now that we're all caught up...
I'd set up for my class to do a specific activity and the other teacher asked me a question regarding a decision and I answered. She responded with "you're in charge." I paused because it was that statement that allowed me to embrace that truth... it required me to. In that moment, I fully embraced the truth that I was, in fact, in charge. That requires me to walk fully in the role of being the teacher, even if I am just a substitute for the time being. I could not just allow anything to go on in my classroom but I had to walk & operate in the authority not only given to me, but entrusted to me. 🤯
This same principle applies outside of the classroom... the authority of being a daughter - an heir of God, joined with Christ (Romans 8:14-17,John 17:22). That alone comes with authority (Luke 10:19).
So when it comes to life circumstances, I encourage you to ask yourself... who's in charge? Will you take authority over the circumstance, or will you allow the circumstance to take authority over you?
Always Be EPIC!