Raise your hand if you’d like a do-over. Ah yes, I see many hands in the air. Some of you might be looking around. Others have their heads down. I’ve had experience with do-overs.

K.L. Hale

“Do I really have to write each word I misspell 15 times?” I asked my teacher in 2nd grade. That was enough for me to become an ace at spelling tests. Fast forward fifteen years to my 2nd grade classroom. Having implemented the Spalding “Writing Road to Reading” theories and practices, along with the spelling to writing and reading curricula, my students didn’t need to worry if they would get do-overs. You bet they did. Victoriously a do-over would lead to why I taught in the first place~to see students light up with learning and mastery. And that mastery was determined by each individual student (not based on their date of manufacture ;-). Some of you must be thinking “hey, you shouldn’t get a do-over on everything!”

My favorite administrator said to me when I was 26, “Karla, I appreciate that you don’t give up on the students or yourself! You’ll find a way!” I’ll never forget the impact of that statement. Ms. M (as I fondly call her) was the reason I changed my Master’s program to administration. She motivated me to fulfill a need to help other adults, not just kids, in do-overs (and of course to help achieve successful first attempts!). It was my personal mission to promote a safe and encouraging environment where each person, young or old, knew that grace would abound. With grace, yoked with skill and motivation, there was a satiation of love and learning. The schoolhouse would be satisfyingly electrifying (oh the stories of when the electrocution hurt!)!

Tweak a situation just a bit and we could all do better I’m sure. “Dad, can I take a mulligan on that shot?” “Mom, will you reteach me that chord?” “Boys, how best can I care for you?” “Students, what are you learning from me?” “Staff, how can I make your job better?” “Friends, in what ways can I help?”

“There’s no need for a do-over!” the voice of God boomed. HE was absolutely right as always. If I were to do it over and over again I’d still be ME. But there ARE things I should be doing over … and over.

My “to-do” over and over list:

  • begin each day with prayer and thanksgiving
  • show compassion
  • give and accept grace
  • be kind
  • learn from my mistakes
  • keep discovering
  • pause and reflect
  • take care of myself and those I love
  • live by truth
  • stay humble
  • see the positive
  • guard my heart
  • help others
  • stay agile
  • be flexible
  • think before I speak

Renew your heart and mind, de-clutter your soul, live with grace, and show love everyday. Do it over and over.

We don’t get a do-over on the ONE LIFE WE HAVE TO LIVE.

Have faith💚


54 thoughts on “Do-Over

  1. Do-overs are great. They require the desire to learn, humility and self-discipline. I see it all the time in my two little students. One (the extremely intelligent, all the pieces in place one) does something once, and if he’s not good at it he moves on. His sister, who is learning disabled physically and possibly a little slow upstairs, definitely ADHD, doesn’t quit until she gets it and she NEVER gets it well. They are living breathing little kids but also inspiring metaphors. I’ve surprised myself by how seriously I take this little one-hour/week class.

    That thing of writing the word 15 times? I think the lesson there REALLY is, “Well, missing recess didn’t kill me.” My teacher made us copy pages out of the dictionary.

    I’ve thought a lot since I retired from teaching what I was REALLY teaching. It wasn’t always composition or critical thinking or literature. And I think I did more learning than any of my students. ❤ BUT giving grace was/is the key to a lot of happiness I life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Martha, I appreciate and admire your response. It’s so true about the kids. I learned so much from them. I’ve navigated through some learning challenges in adulthood due to head injuries. And if there’s anything I’ve learned through it is that with the right conditions (and people), encouragement, grace, and faith I can keep learning and recovering. Isn’t it hopeful to look back and see what truly impacted the lives of learners? What truly matters? I’ve said this many times, but I would’ve enjoyed being your student. How wonderful for those kids you’re pouring out your heart and skills to each week~and that hour can make a world of difference. 💚💚🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I admire your 31 years in teaching/ministry. What a blessed career! Your comment is kind. I’m a teacher at heart ❤️ it was very hard to cheerlead decisions from the top at times. I felt changes weren’t always necessary and politically-speaking, to stay on top of newest trends in education, the baby was thrown out with the bath water. No matter the agenda or curriculum I was determined to lead by always keeping kid’s first. I was an open book and team player and I wanted 50 principals under me. We didn’t have time for micromanagement. My best years were spent in a rural Middle School (I loved being a MS Principal) where the teachers were given squat for funds. We were a team of educators and friends that could support one another through not being offended, playing as good team members, and no matter….students first. Education is enough different for me now that perhaps my “old-fashioned” ways of teaching and learning may not fit. I embrace change and recognize the benefits of advancement; technology includes indeed! I longed to teach at a school of discovery; I incorporated many outdoor and group learning activities for hands-on and critical thinking and problem-solving problems. But ultimately just wanted kids to be loved and cared for~as the best research will still show it’s the teacher that impacts learning the most. Over half our kids worried about food and who would take care of them~and I was happy to lead this charge. I still long to teach in a one-room schoolhouse with a multitude of ages. Alas, I’m sure most students who don’t have WIFI connection would like it~but I’d give it 💯 to make sure they’d learn and love doing it. 💚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My friends were administrators— I worked under 8 different principals with the last two being good Christian men. My two closest friends left the classroom to become assistant principals so I balanced the “us /them” mentality better than my teacher colleagues who saw the admins as “them”

        I was on several leadership teams and was department chair so I got a taste of some good old fashioned frustration and even resentment when tough calls had to be made.
        One of my admin friends retired about 2 years after I did and my last principal is now superintendent and the assistant friend is principal- they’ve endured a great deal of change— change in governmental oversight, testing and curriculum demands along with parental demands and a massive shift in cultural expectations of blind acceptance.
        At the end I felt very frustrated in the lack of protection teachers had against everyone and everything— everyone was protected but the teacher.
        I was grateful to leave when I did—
        My daughter-in-law is currently a teacher and oh what she is going through…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I understand your frustration. It’s sad to me how many great people are leaving education due to unrealistic expectations placed on teachers. You were fortunate to have such great friends. I shared some close relationships and still do. The kids are definitely what I miss. The constant changes are difficult to navigate. I’m grateful I had the years. I view it as a past ministry. But just one job and career. I’m so young and want to make impacts in other ways. I’ll add your daughter-in-law to my prayer list. I have sympathy and empathy to how she is coping at this point in all the unknowns. I pray for all educators during these times. I appreciate you so much Julie. 💚🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh and probably the greatest accomplishment I felt most satisfying over accolades and awards was the food pantry I started-at the time I was reading a book about Mother Teresa and went to my principal with her words in my mouth asking that we could begin feeding our kids over the weekends as that is when they would not have access to hot food—- we did it and I hope they are continuing it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John! 😊There’s a new dictionary reference, the urban one, in which do-over was spelled doover…I guess I’ll stay with the older version of hyphenated do and over. And in some cases I just want to do over, so no hyphen needed! How about that for a North American frame of mind? 😬😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karla, Ah, the gift of a do-over. I think of mornings in this way. A day I can start over.

    I love your “to-do” over list. I was trying to single out one point to mention, and every point resonates with me.

    I like how you broke up this post with colours. I found it interesting and relaxing for my eyes. A great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That list is a blessing in itself. A reminder of what we must do to stay close to God, who is always near us. I find it easy to outwardly show compassion and love, but struggle to turn that inwards to own mistakes and shortcomings. It is definitely something I need to-do over and over again to get better at it. This weekend has been a stark example of this where I didn’t do much, probably because I needed to rest my mind and spirit, but I struggled not to feel annoyed at myself for this.

    One of the things about being a teacher I love is that at different times each student has the opportunity to fill the role of ‘teacher’. I am sad that it has not been the right time for me to enter into teaching officially (though I do have my university qualification to be able to), but trust God’s plan for where I am being guided.

    I pray you go well into your week and the rest of 2020. Peace, to you and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, my apologies for this late reply. My time on WP is cut short due to some life changes; after the year begins I’ll be more consistent. Your response is so beautiful. I too can show it outwardly and struggle giving it to myself as well. The Lord has shown me that this is not glorifying him. That to put unpack my baggage daily and refill it daily with his love is the only way I know to honor him. If we don’t love ourselves it will hinder the true love that can flow through us to others. I find myself authentically me now. Not based on who I’m with, what I’m doing, or how successful I am in other people’s’ eyes. Our worth comes from God alone. You are worthy my friend. When I taught I learned as much from the students as I hope they learned from me. You’re a blessing! And yes, let’s hold on to faith that God’s plan is always right and he’s taking us where we need to be always in life. I will include you in my prayers and may peace be to you and yours as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen. Thank you for your h heartfelt response. I know God is helping you to put your time where it is needed. It is always good to hear from you, and share in the wisdom that brings.

        God’s peace go with you.

        Liked by 1 person

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