First day of school today, guys, and how could I not write about it? My new room is perfection, if I say so myself. Verb folders are prepared and waiting for unsuspecting freshmen. There’s a fake apple that looks for real sitting on my desk. Not sure what to wear, but I imagine the bed will be covered with a no-not-that pile pretty soon.
My biggest thought about school? The people.
People are so beautiful. I savor the thought of walking in the building, to chat with the secretary and then whatever teachers are in the copier room, then welcoming a few dozen students into my room every day. It makes me want to whistle on the outside and skip on the inside.
People are so scary. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I get nervous and pit out? What if I offend someone? What if I fail as a teacher and students hate me forever. And ever. Makes me want to slink in through the back doors and hide in the bathroom.
I tell my husband I’m worried about failing around people, and he tells me we all feel this way. Tells me he feels this way a lot.
“Talk to me about school,” I say, as I kneel down on the floor in front of him and lay my head on his chest.
He makes up a tale about how the students are going to bounce into my room excited. How they’ve been studying Spanish on their own all summer just because they love it so much. How I’m going to be their favorite teacher.
“Thank you,” I say. Because I so much want to know I’m going to be okay with these people. A good man knows when to spin a yarn.
But I know what I really need.
I need the Old Story –the one about how we’re all sinners and need Jesus to rescue us from our sorry selves. My students don’t need the perfect teacher –just a humble one. And I don’t need them to be perfect, either. I’d better tell them that.
Sticky note: Don’t forget to tell students I’ll look at them from a kneeling position at the cross, if they’ll please do me the same courtesy.
Paul tells the Roman believers:
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7 NIV)
So many verbs and vocabulary lists and sentences to drill. So many grammar and reading exercises to teach. But I hope the best lesson I carry through this year is the lesson of acceptance. May I accept my students just as Christ accepted me. And oh, Lord, I hope they accept me the same way.
What people do you need to accept with the grace of Christ??