But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? —James4:12 (niv)
My first year out of college, I worked as a math tutor at a charter school in Rhode Island. I loved that I got to be the primary math instructor to several students, often in very small group settings.
One day, as I explained linear equations, I felt like I was hitting a brick wall. Two students, Solomon and Roberto, wouldn’t stop talking to each other about the basketball game that was happening later and even talked over me when I asked them to stop. Another student, Cesar, just kept staring at his paper and wouldn’t even give it a try, no matter how much I encouraged him. I was their teacher, so I had to hold it together, but inside I wanted to scream.
After class was over, I had lunch with my fellow tutors, Patrick and Doug, who were both in their early forties. “I just can’t get them to work,” I whined. “It’s like they don’t care about the future. I can’t get them to grow up.”
“You’ve got to try to make it real somehow,” Patrick said. “Back when I was applying to MBA programs, I wrote my essays and filled out all the applications at school, so they could see what it took. I think that helped a little.”
“I try to talk to them about what it’s like being in the business world,” Doug chimed in. “Practical stuff seems to help.”
Patrick worked two jobs and was getting his MBA in his free time, and Doug had been a CFO before becoming a teacher. I was just starting out and here I was complaining to them about how my kids wouldn’t make life easy for me. My students weren’t the only ones who needed to grow up.
Thank You, God, for always reminding me I have more work to do.
Written by Sam Adriance
Digging Deeper: 1 Cor13:11;Eph 4:14–15
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