I apologize if it seems like I can’t get over this whole “belovedness” thing. (In truth, I never really want to get over this renewed revelation.) Perhaps the first step is acknowledging our own role as beloved of the Father, but there is another step that follows. It involves seeing how others are beloved children of God, too.
The end of the school year probably isn’t the best time to start deeply considering how my students are uniquely loved by God. However, their behavior is making it necessary for survival. Sophomores are getting more squirrelly and seniors are D.O.N.E. Mentally, most of them are a long ways into summer break, which makes teaching them an exercise in charity. And patience. And forbearance. And long-suffering love. You get the picture.
Last week, I was barely surviving. Tension was high and I felt stressed about several things. Add to that the attitudes and antics of students and I was waking up with stress headaches that lasted throughout the day, pretty much the whole week. Obviously, the Lord doesn’t desire that sort of life for me. It led me to wonder: Lord, what are you doing here?
Frequently on my mind was that familiar title of John as the one whom Jesus loves. Delving into my own belovedness was a good refresher, but it had to also be drawn into seeing the students’ belovedness.
Certain students cause more stress and so I prayed, “Lord, help to see ______________ as your beloved child.” There wasn’t a magical shift as I prayed this about a few different students, but it did make me start wondering. What does the Lord particularly love about these people? I wonder if I can see it, too.
Continue reading “Lord, show me what You love about them”
There are a lot of things most people don’t know about teachers. Most people don’t understand that non-essential classroom decorations (posters, quotes, extra materials) are not paid for by the school. At times they don’t realize that teaching isn’t a 8-4 job, even if those are the hours for school. They see the long summers, the Christmas breaks, the consistent weekends off and they believe that teachers have it made. My dad used to say that teachers complain about their pay but they only work for nine months out of the year. After seeing me endure my first year of teaching, I think he re-evaluated and commented that teachers work pretty hard. Every job has its difficulties but people think they know everything that teachers must do because they have all experienced classroom teachers. The other side of the desk is a bit harder, I’ve learned.
The school year is just beginning and I feel tired already. Tonight was open house–where the parents go through a mock day and are in each class for 5 minutes. I’ve never been a big fan of it and always get nervous to speak to the parents. Tonight I was the least nervous I have ever been but there were still moments of anxiety.
The best part was when I would thank the parents for being the primary educators of their children in regards to the faith. My intention was to challenge them, encourage them, and applaud them for their efforts. It was wonderful to see the parents hear what their children probably never say to them. They see the battles to get their children to Mass and I catch a glimpse of the greatness of that action. One of the parents thanked me for what I do for the students. Despite my dislike for the open house in general, that makes it worth it. I love that I was able to encourage, however briefly, the parents in their vocation as parent. The rewards may not seem obvious but they will be eternal.
Since my older sister came home for home visit, I am realizing that I love the idea of the lay vocation. It is the leaven in the world. The sanctification of the world will only be possible, I believe, with the sanctification of the laity.