This mathematics teacher considered pulling out the calculator to add up the number of ‘first days’. Between my years as a student and my role as a teacher, I will walk into my 40th first day of school this morn! After 23 years of teaching, the nerves don’t hit like they once did though the butterflies still flutter as I face class after class of new students. Every year I’m asked, ‘are you ready to go back?’ Well, let me think… All summer I drew a pay check, did my own thing, and this year traveled extensively. Going back means getting up at 5 AM, being exhausted at the end of the day, and paperwork galore. Yet going back also means building new relationships, helping our young people grow in character, and sharing love with a population in great need of knowing someone cares for them. So, Yes! I’m ready to go and very excited!
I’ve been seeking my ‘verse for the year’ which I write out and place near my desk as a point of reference throughout the months ahead. Today, the verse I felt led to seemed a bit odd at first but the more I reflect on it, the more I see God’s point. For five days teachers have met to discuss best practices, content standards, and procedures. We are prepared to roll out with the quadratic formula, balancing chemical equations, and writing personal narratives… BUT if all we do is teach the content, we miss our calling. I can know the mathematics (and trust me, I do), I can develop the most engaging lessons imaginable (my goal), and see test scores shoot through the roof (please, please, please!) BUT if I accomplish all of that without loving my students, have I accomplished anything at all? Paul wrote…
As teachers, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, coaches, aides, food staff and maintenance workers, we will have multiple opportunities this year to touch the lives of the children in our county. As we teach our content, drive them home, coach them to victory, and work to keep them safe, may we always, always, ALWAYS remember to love them first and foremost! They need love… they deserve love… even that child that can get on your last nerve needs to know that someone cares! This often quoted line comes to mind-
“They won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
So true! Help me, Lord, to go forth in love today. Give me some extra love for that one that needs it most! Flood me with so much of your love that it spills out onto all of my students… even the ones who are the hardest to love. Why? Because our kids are worth it! Amen!