I started my teaching career in 2004 at a small elementary school in southwest Oklahoma. Most of the children lived in poverty and embodied the term, “at risk.”
I quickly learned the majority of them were distrustful of adults; there would be little respect given up front–I had to earn it.
I will always remember a fourth grader named Jamie. She and her older brother struggled, both with academics and behavior.
Jamie sat sullen-faced in my music class most days and didn’t participate. A simple redirection, such as, “Please walk in line with the other students.” brought a sneer and half compliance.
Going toe-to-toe with Jamie wasn’t working. I needed a relational break through with her, and many other students. But how?
I stumbled onto the answer one morning when Jamie had a rare, good day in class. I wrote a note to her mother explaining how she played the tambourine and taught others how to play too. I also told mom her daughter was a born leader!
That was the break through. Going forward, Jamie became a positive role model in my class and the other students followed. Once she realized I truly cared about her, it made all the difference in the world.
Today, I look back on my rookie teacher days and shake my head with a grin. There was so much I got wrong that first year! But with God’s help I found the one thing that mattered most–unconditional love.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Kind reader, an unbelieving world, like Jamie, waits to see if Christians truly care. Do they see the unbounded love of God in our lives?
It could make all the difference.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.Jesus, John 13:35 (NIV)
Thank you for reading. 🙏 prayers and ❤️ love.