Back to School

Second Grade Jenny - Just had finished a long summer of teaching stuffed animals and baby dolls.

End of Summer. It's the season of freshly sharpened pencils, 50 cent boxes of crayons, crisp folders and fresh starts. For some, it is a time of  new clothes, new shoes, new dreams and new possibilities. For others, it is a reminder of what they go without, dreams that seem out of reach and a return to the building that makes them feel so out of place.

Whether teacher, administrator, student or parent, this new year brings with it the opportunity to choose the course in which we will walk.

 It is a choice each day to pick up the baggage of the past, of lies we tell ourselves, or of past mistakes we have made. Or, a choice to suit up in the armor of who God says we are as we make our way into the world each day.

As I prepare for my preschoolers to return, many back to school memories have flooded my mind. My first year teaching was spent in a portable "learning cottage" about a half of a mile away from the front office. I had too much passion and enthusiasm to realize how much I didn't know. In the 12 years since then, I have spent 7 years in public school, 2 as a stay at home mom and am now entering my fourth year in a private preschool and kindergarten. The biggest change as I enter my classroom, still filled with passion and enthusiasm, is that I now realize how much I don't know.

That first year in the classroom I  was filled so much hope in what my children would accomplish, do and become..that perhaps some of the "good" that inflated my dreams, also inflated my head.

I realize that there are strategies, research theories and instructional models that I don't know.  Every day I am learning new ways to reach children and partner with parents. I look everywhere for inspiration, research and diligence on ways to teach children and touch lives. However, that is not my sole focus.

Not only does each little person who walks into my room carry a story with them, but so does the teacher next door, across the hall, in the office and around the school. It is easy to lose sight of the community around us when we are solely focused on building the community within our own room.

So, go on, get out of your comfort zone and go love on the new teacher, the mean teacher, the hurting teacher, the awkward teacher, the janitor, the bookkeeper who always reminds you that you didn't fill out the form correctly, the lunch lady, the teacher who yells, the teacher who is sick, the teacher who you love to dislike, the teacher who intimidates you, all of them, those people, whether they know it or not, "those people" who were created in Christ's image just like yourself!

As Christian's we are called to resist satan and sometimes forget that also means to resist acting like him! Let us not be called into the profession of education as ambassadors of Christ and act so un-Christ like.

Because, if we are truly trying to follow Him, our life should speak a language of love. Love one another as He has loved us. Even if that means change or challenge or discomfort.
Now, go get your coffee and get busy changing the world, influencing the future and loving your neighbor.