I recently celebrated another birthday (I think it was my 21st) and some of my students created a very touching card for me. They reminisced about some old times that we had last year, but more than that they thanked me for loving and caring for them as a temporary mom! I was raised not to be given to tears but upon receiving the sentimental birthday wishes, I couldn’t hold a wave of them back. I enjoyed a few more happy tears during the day and reminded myself that it is all worth it! I love teaching!
Theodore Roosevelt said,
It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds.
So could I also add or infer that the credit belongs to the teacher who is actually in the classroom, whose hands are marred by Expo marker and blouse messed by drying dirty tears and feet aching because sitting isn’t an option if you want children to actually learn; who strives valiantly to teach “how to solve for X,” and comes short again and again in turning in Teacher Notes on time, because there is no effort without lots of error and numerous shortcomings in their own character; but the credit belongs to the teacher that rises early every morning and thinks about his students on the way to school and who most certainly strives endlessly to make this arrow better?
Do you think T.R. would mind taking some liberties in his well stated exhortation?
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Here is my job description, simply stated. Living in a small town of East Texas, driving used vehicles, teaching in an old day-care building, rubbing shoulders daily with people who bet that “ain’t ” is in the dictionary, this seems to be a high calling for someone like me. God is in the business of issuing high callings, or tall orders to seemingly small and insignificant people. Just thinking of Mary’s birth story or David’s size when taking on Goliath or Abraham’s trek in the wilderness and one realizes God expects great things out of his rather small people. Here we are in a rural Southern town and God has asked or rather required me to prepare His arrows, sharpen their points and ensure that they will fly straight when released into flight. This is God’s story and I’m simply a small character trying my best to play my part to the glory of God. Some days will be foggy, a few will be rainy, but most days will be sunny with a sure chance of God’s goodness.