I take much joy in working with children. I know – not everyone would agree. But after a transition of working with just teenagers to working with largely elementary students and teenagers, I feel full to the brim with love for my work.
These kids feed me and they don’t even know it. Their hugs are doses of joy that carry me through the day.
They call me Mrs. Jason. But not all of them. It’s kind of cute.
Most of them know how to address me, but this alias demonstrates how much they think of my husband. And after last week, when he played Thor, Dude of Thunder, for their chapel lesson on the story of Sarai and Hagar (yes, they connected it – I don’t know how they pulled it off, but they did – epically, while thunder boomed outside no less), I am now frequently referred to as Mrs. Thor.
It’s funny – I’m really not much of a teacher. I stumble around my point and get on tangents and forget to make connections and lose my way, and on and on. But when I have an inspiring story or lesson to share, and I take the time to listen to and look at these little people I am addressing…when I make it about them and their living, I find that the lesson carries itself.
Kids don’t always like to be taught, but they love to learn.
Every child that enters my library demonstrates an inquiring mind, and at the same time, a desire to connect and relate with others. So I try to relate to them. And love them. And one successful lesson folds into another and we all grow through it.
As I think on my words, I will concede that Jason feels largely the same way about his abilities as a teacher. We stumble our way through our jobs, much like the rest of life (much like everybody?), figuring it out as we go, trying to get by. Or perhaps a little more than stumbling. Loving, which we all stumble with in itself, shares its moments as a worthy description. I may not be phenomenal at teaching my way through the school day, but if you ask me to love my way through it, I’m all in. Okay, it does take some higher order thinking and organizational skills to manage a large group of kids to a desired end, but… when I allow my heart to guide me, all the other things seem to fall into place (much better than my own attempts at controlling and leading). And I learn. And the kids learn. And we all grow through and around each other.
Sounds like the Body of Christ.
I wonder if the students realize I’m one of them?J’s stop motion video project with 1st and 2nd graders, made entirely of still images of their clay creations. Thank you Kodiak Island Drummers (KID) for providing the beat.