Good for my Heart

My beloved 7th period class is good for my heart.  I was recently talking about them, and I felt my heart overflowing with a sense of gratitude.  Despite my fondness for them, I will never claim that they are perfect.  They are beautiful and they bring out my best side, which probably contributes to the warm reception I receive from them.

I have never had such a clear favorite.  This is one of the first things I will tell people before I gush about my class.  While I am far more comfortable with my classes then in years past, this is the one class where I can let my guard down.  I never feel like I’m defending myself or persuading them of something or fighting them to accept a truth.  We laugh together, have inside jokes, and learn together.  I’m not their best friend, but I am definitely one of their favorite teachers.

There is a freedom that comes with being loved.  I can give them more of who I am really am.  Each day, 7th period, I feel like I teach the best.  Sometimes we get off topic, there is chaos, too much energy–but always there is a familial atmosphere that fills the room.  I don’t myself subtly battling the class in defense of the one kid that says things people roll their eyes at or repeatedly asks questions already answered.  When I was sick this week, one girl said she missed me.  Although I’m not extremely close with each student, I feel an understanding with most of them and, if nothing else, the class as a whole.

I am not the only one to appreciate my blessings.  One of the freshman teachers made a remark to me about my beloved class.  Typically nobody else sees the class as a whole but all of the classes each period met in auditorium for preparation for confession this week.  I have never sang the praises of this class to this teacher, so I was overjoyed to hear him applaud my class.  He said it was though each good student was hand-selected for my 7th period class.  As he was saying this, I realized they were.  The good Lord knew that I would need this oasis, this haven from the storm during my school day.  I look forward to them and love the time we spend together.  Professionally, I need to remain fair toward my classes, but I often feel a desire to spoil them, to give in to all of their requests.  Today that teacher stopped by when they were coming into my classroom and declared that heaven came early today.  We smiled and he told them it was an inside joke.

This class is the only reason I am not running forward with utter joy to Christmas break.  Next semester I will have most of these students again, but they will be shuffled around and students from my other class will be mixed in.  I am hopeful that next semester will be wonderful as well, but I know that the beauty of this class will soon end, never to be achieved again.  Life will move on and they will simply be the cherished favorite class of the past, the ones I subconsciously measure each future class against, sighing when they inevitably fall short.

For now, they are my precious gift.  They are blessing to me from the Lord.  Yet it is only the difficulty of my first two years that makes me so deeply relish this class.  If I had them my first year, I would have expected all classes to be like this.  Now I know, battle-weary veteran that I am.  This, is not the norm.  This is, most assuredly, a gift from the Lord, hand-selected for the good of my heart.  Another beautiful display of the Lord knowing what I needed before I even thought to ask for it.

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