We’re already three weeks into the school years Time has flown by! I’m off to one of the best starts that I’ve ever had, and I’m thankful for that.
I think one of the biggest changes that has made the most impact has been the environment of my classroom. I moved around the desk and grouped the student desks in groups of four. I also added a round table. I want to give credit to this article from Edutopia for giving me the inspiration.
Also, and most importantly, I’ve changed. I have seen with my own eyes the impact that a loving, kind, positive, goal-oriented, generous, motivated, focused, hard-working, never-give-up-on-students kind of teacher can make. I’m not saying that I’m the perfect example of this teacher. I’m saying that I’ve seen other colleagues who have demonstrated these qualities and the results are unbelievable.
I’m saying this is the teacher that I’m working to be. I’m saying I’m not afraid to “stand in the gap” as Wilfredo de Jesus, pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago advised leaders all across the world at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit to do. I’m saying that it’s “in the gap” is where true teaching takes place.
This week I’m looking for good things to happen. I’m sure there will be challenges – like this past Thursday was, but like I tell my students – “It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond.” (Author unknown) We have to stay focused on the good that’s going on and never lose sight that we truly are making a positive impact in the lives of the students we love and respect.
I was reminded of this as the school year started. I got the honor to see some of the students that I taught last year – what. a. joy! It’s amazing to me to see the amount of growth/change (physical-emotional) that students go through in just three short months.
I’m not sure what kind of start you’re off to – a friend last week mentioned that he had spoken to other teacher who were already ready to quit. Let me say this, whatever situation you find yourself in, take a deep breath and remember that the beautiful lives that you’ve been entrusted with are worth all of the difficulties you will face. Do whatever you have to do to put the stuff behind that in the end will not matter so that you can make a lasting difference in the lives of students. It’s not easy, no doubt. But the truth is, nothing in life that is worth anything is easy.
Teachers and community members, we have to do this together. In a challenging sermon from Eugene Cho, lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, this weekend, I learned an African proverb that goes like this, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Our goal of educating students is indeed going far, not fast.
This week be intentional about reaching out to those around you for support and encouragement. Dare yourself to overcome whatever is holding you back to deeply love, cherish, and respect a generation of students who are all made in the image of God and deserve to be educated well. We must go far, not fast.
Have a great week friends,