A Teacher's Hope
As a new teacher, I’ve had a few bad days already in this first year of teaching. Yesterday was one of the worst. During my toughest period of the day, my 7th graders would not stop talking. I ended up giving out 14 break detentions in a class of 20. To add to my already down day my youngest child got in trouble at school for the first time and my daughter had a major nosebleed. By the time I got home I just wanted to quit. Last night, I even begged my husband to let me go back to working from home.
Before going to bed I finally gave in and prayed, thanking God for rest and the promise of a new day. This morning I woke up determined to make this day positive. During my 3rd period, 7th grade Bible class, I had all of the girls who are in the 7th grade class that I had given the detentions to. Several of the girls in the class had just come from serving their detention. They walked in the class completely silent, a very rare occurrence for them and sat down. Moments later, I asked if someone would read a passage of scripture and no one answered me. In fact, I looked up to see all the girls staring down at their books. It honestly made my heart break.
I had no other choice but to read the scripture myself. As I finished, I kept thinking about how I had felt the day before and I felt God nudging me to tell them just how important what they learned from me was. Not just the Bible facts or the English grammar, but what my life represented and whether or not I pointed them to Jesus . So, as I finished up the notes I was making on the board about the scripture we’d just read I looked up at them and began to tell them what I sensed God wanted me to share.
I began with the fact that I felt God had me there for a reason. I was honest with them in sharing that when I started the job, I really didn’t “want” it. I shared how I had prayed long and hard about it and how last May I had prayed for God to reveal to me a way to use my talents and gifts to help provide for my family. How a month later, almost to the date our headmaster had called and asked me about teaching. I told them how I was concerned about making my youngest child go to school all day a year earlier instead of staying home with him like I had my other two.
I went on to tell them how I knew God had me there for a reason. I shared with them how I spent time praying and writing in a prayer journal and reading scripture every morning and how just two mornings prior to my disciplining them I had read a scripture about hope. I walked over to my desk and picked up my prayer journal and read the words:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:3
I shared with them how I had written in my journal that God was impressing upon me to be an example of a person who has hope to others, especially my students. Then I told them how I prayed for them. I shared with them that sometimes my job was hard and that the only way I made it through was with God’s help.
Then I read them my prayer,
Dear Lord, I come to you now and just ask you to impress upon me what I need to glean from these verses. Help me to understand you and your word better. Help me to be more disciplined with my own kids as well as my school kids. Lord give me strength. I need your guidance daily. I then had listed them in my prayers.
I looked up to several girls wiping tears from their eyes. One commented, “Mrs. Avant you make me want to be a better person.” Before I knew it they were embracing me in a group hug. As I shared my story with a friend this afternoon I told her, “If my bad day yesterday served no other purpose than to be able to share my heart with those girls today, it was all worth it.”
Written By Alyssa Avant
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