Friday, February 8, 2013

Driving Wisdom

A little inspiration to end your work week. This is an anectdotal rendition of a delightful happening that I witnessed as I headed to work this morning:

The bus driver was as black as tar-covered pavements where many journeys find their miles to travel. As he let the students off at the stop in front of their high school, a thunderous yet benevolent rumbling began. He said loudly, "Aristotle once said, 'The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.' Get your education today!" A teenage boy responded by sharing an endearing fist bump with the driver before he hopped off. I smiled and realized that here, there is a village that raises the children.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How Awesome Is This?!

So we all know elementary school kids can love you instantly. It doesn't take more than a smile, a few games, a sticker and saying "good job" in the classroom to earn you a portrait of yourself with colorful cards made by little crayon-stained fingers. I've gotten everything from pictures of me with long hair when my head was shaved, a huge butterfly, a picture of people holding hands around the earth with an apology from a 4th grader who had given me lip earlier that day and even have a pretty cool pizza replica made out of construction paper, marker, tape and broken eraser bits made by a couple of girl friends in the 4th grade. The melting that happens to your heart never gets old. However, I had a pretty BIG boost in confidence today when the students at a high school got together and surprised me with this! As an almost fully certified teacher, these things encourage me. I say, this was a pretty big feat. This is special to me for SEVERAL reasons: 

1) Teens live in each others heads and are terribly concerned about how they are perceived by their peers and are usually "too cool for school" to express this sort of appreciation, ESPECIALLY to a sub. But in this case, they got over it and decided to to this on their own.

2) Sure, it's computer paper and a marker. No fluffy clouds or suns with a smiley face or stick figures that the masterpiece of a kindergartener would produce but at this age, teenagers are usually self-absorbed and think mostly of themselves, so the effort in and of itself makes this a treasure I will keep years into my career.

3) I wake up at 5ish in the A.M. every morning and take several buses to these schools because I love what I do and know I am called to this work, moments like this make it all worth it and my labor is not in vain. This will serve as a lasting memento when the hard days come.

4) You can only truly get through to students. change lives and reach them if they actually have your respect. It doesn't matter how much of an expert you are in your subject, how long you have been teaching, or how loud you can shout. If your students don't generally respect you, your lessons will go in one ear and out the other and your impact will be minimal. Earning such respect is a tall order and often we teachers go through severe periods of self-doubt with such a responsibility. No matter where I end up next school year, occurrences like this let me know I CAN DO THIS and I WILL BE EFFECTIVE.

4) LAST & MOST IMPORTANT: I pray daily for God to bestow His wisdom to me on how I interact with the students and prayed that I was able to build a rapport with them this week and be a DAILY REPRESENTATION of Jesus Christ in my actions. He definitely answered that prayer, this is a lasting reminder of His Faithfulness.