Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Teaching Second Grade
Last Wednesday, August 13th was the first day of school at Sahel Academy! I went to bed Tuesday night nervous, excited, and totally at peace. I was reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness, especially as I received encouragement from friends and family back home.
Day one in Second Grade was full of fun and learning as the students and “Miss Knox” (that’s me!) became acquainted with each other. The day flew by and I honestly felt energized as I finished the first day! I couldn't believe that I survived! Without anyone telling me where to be or how to teach – it was just me and my 14 little second graders. I was actually a bit worried that I was doing something wrong, because it was almost easy! I was ready for day two!
And at the same time, it was so clear to me that I could not possibly do it on my own. My nerves drove me to the Lord in prayer. Just like Eric Liddel said "I feel His Presence when I run," I felt that I could say "I feel God's Presence when I teach." May I never forget my deep need and dependence on God this entire school year.
On the first day, I read a story to my students called "Just the Way You Are" by Max Lucado. The story is about 5 orphans who are going to be adopted by the King! Four of them have talents that they are going to use to impress the King. But the littlest orphan only has her good heart. Halfway through I asked my second graders what they would do if they were the girl who didn't have anything to give the King. After thinking about it for a bit, one girl raised her hand and said "I'd give him my heart." I took a deep breath to hold back tears. Another student said, "I would be kind and love him." I was getting chills. At the end of Lucado’s story, the little girl with the good heart is the only one who has time for the King because the others are too busy preparing their talents to impress Him. Jesus is the King and we can give Him our hearts. He loves us just the way we are.
I was reminded in that moment that I am not here to DO THINGS, but rather to LOVE PEOPLE. God wants our heart. My sister-in-law shared with me that at the end of the year, students won't remember your fancy bulletin boards or super organized lesson plans. What they will remember is that you CARED. At Grove City College, we learned to "teach students, not lesson plans." I want to be a teacher who loves her students and who is remembered for caring.
Thank you for praying! I really could not have done it without the Body of Christ lifting me up in prayer. Since we started school on a Wednesday, the first week was only three days long, a good way to get my feet wet. Now that I know my students a bit better, I am hoping that planning will come more easily to me. I love to be in front of the classroom, but there is a TON of work that goes into each day when you’re not actually teaching! I am also fighting a fever right now and had to miss the sixth day of school. Please pray for a quick recovery.
Grace and Peace from Africa.