Thursday, April 25, 2013


Whoever first uttered the word stress was a very wise person. I don't think they truly understood the depth of meaning in those individual letters.

This week at school, during some unexpected down-time, I was thinking that the letters in the word STRESS could actually be an acronym for what is so often experienced during this time of the year.

S     State
T     Testing
R     Reason for
 E     Excessive
S     School
S     Stress

During my 20+ years as a teacher, I have always been part of this trend: grumbles, breaking up student fights, headaches over assignments that are given at the last minute trying to squeeze in one more last review or skill, all of these resulting in mental and physical exhaustion.

Well, next week is state testing for us and I am trying desperately to apply a new acronym to the word:

S     Some
T     Time
R     Resting in
E     Eternal
S     Solace and
S     Strength

As I read the materials for this week's Bible study and focused on the guiding verse, I decided to dig a little deeper into the meaning. 

According to the dictionary, the word repent means "to feel regret, remorse, to change one's mind regarding past conduct, to turn away from sin, to creep along the ground". That is ME! I need to turn away from the unnecessary pressure that I place on both myself and my students during this time of year. I need to realize that I have taught long and hard, all school year. THAT is what will bring results. 

The word rest made me think of calmness and peace. That is what I want for ME, my family, and for my classroom. I want to be a quiet, calm place where my children and my students can escape some of the end of the year madness and I want my soul to have a quietness and calmness away from the world's madness.  

The last phrase "in quietness and trust is your strength"...... That trust needs to be trust in the LORD and he will give me strength. In my mind I think of this as the ability to overcome.

Taken in totality, I see this verse telling me that I need to spend more time resting in God's strength, calling on him to help provide me strength, and giving him the chance to provide guidance to help me make wise choices. That can bring me the quietness and calmness that I so desire.


  1. I love the new acronym that you created. It is so much better than the first!! Your words are so true about the pressure (or stress) that we put on ourselves. Thank you for taking what you are learning in this bible study and applying it to your students. I am very thankful to God everyday for teachers who give children so much more than the basic requirements, but gives them life skills that they can use forever. Blessings!

  2. Stella- I also <3 your new acronym for stress! As a classroom assistant (and a parent) I know all too well how stressful this time of year can become! I said a prayer for both you and your students that y'all would have a peace-FULL stress-LESS atmosphere in your classroom during this time!

  3. S Some
    T Time
    R Resting in
    E Eternal
    S Solace and
    S Strength

    Love this!!

  4. Stella! I love how you turned that acronym right around! Thank you for sharing your encouraging perspective with us here.

  5. Thanks for sharing your acronym, it is one I want to remember.

  6. I love the new acronym and as a fellow teacher, I know the need for it! I think I may copy it out and put it on my desk.
    I will pray that the testing goes well but I also agree with you, the results the students get are not only the result of the work you have done this year but the years leading up to this. Sadly, with all of this emphasis on testing, we miss the fact that there is so much else that we try to build into our students that a test doesn't reflect, like strong character, a sense of self, a love of learning, for starters. Remember that teaching is your ministry and regardless of what the tests show, you are blessing these kids!