The Only Reason I Keep Teaching

There was a time being a teacher was so far down on my list of possible careers I would have laughed had I known what the next 15 years of my life were to look like. And then I would have drowned my sorrows in a 24 hour Starbucks binge.

Teacher wasn’t what I wanted to be when I grew up.

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Except for those times I inhaled chalk dust as I meticulously wrote the alphabet for three stuffed animals and a few baby dolls. Though it wasn’t long before the “students” were at recess, and I had Barbie and Ken driving down the road in their convertible imagining happily ever after.

Yet. Here I am. A teacher in my twelfth year. There are still days I’m not sure I want to teach. It’s hard. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s stressful.

But. There is one reason. Only one reason I continue to do my job.

My students.

My job affords me the privilege of making a difference in the life of a student. Call me crazy—but it’s the only thing that matters to me.

The days I allow myself to stay buried underneath mandates and paperwork? Those are the worse days. The drudgery days of the crotchety schoolmarm. It sucks me dry and joy is elusive.

But the days when I allow my students to matter most? The days when I look my students in the eye, shake their hands, say good morning, and remind myself of what really matters?

Those are the best days.

So I stay because of my kids. I continue to teach because my students inspire me to be a better human—for them, for me.

I stay for the incredibly intelligent AP student who randomly, in the middle of class, asks, “Mrs. Iseminger? Does Spain have beaches?” When I answer that Spain is surrounded by water, we laugh together, big belly laughs bubbling from the deep. Here’s looking at you Mav…

I stay because I know education is one of the greatest weapons humanity has in its arsenal against the war on poverty and ignorance. If I can help just one more struggling student scratch and claw her way into some form of higher learning, it’s worth every minute.

I stay because while my classroom may offer sanctuary and grace is a never-ending supply, my students know they will work. They know excellence is required and shortcuts only derail. Watching them rise to the occasion? Beautiful.

I stay for the email sent over the summer sharing a video perfectly expressing satire because he saw it and thought of my class, and I know something is sinking into that long-term memory bank. Success for the student is my only success.

I stay for letter of recommendation requests where I may be more nervous than the student. Because my letter matters. And if I screw it up? I can’t even think about the possibility without a clenched stomach and sweaty palms.

I stay for the former students who email me their college essays with a, “I know your busy…you can say no…but would you mind taking a look?” Honestly? There’s not much better than this nod of remembrance. To know I’m thought of—outside of the classroom.

I stay because students need a safe place to land. They are desperate for the classroom that welcomes all. My prayer is my classroom is a place they can breathe peace deeply during their day. To know, if only for a moment, life is okay.

I stay for the students who don’t eat because mom didn’t fill out the free lunch forms and without hidden change, stuffed away fruit, and breakfast bars in my desk those kids go hungry.

I stay for the students who need someone to trust. Those popping their heads in my classroom door when the school day is over and the hardest parts of their lives are about to begin. I can barely hear them whisper Are you busy?

I stay for the parents who don’t show up. For the alcoholic fathers sleeping on couches and the you-will-never-be-good-enough-for-me mothers with expectations beyond the capacity of a 16 year old. Because parents should be the constant in their kids’ lives but sometimes they just aren’t. So teachers fill the gaps.

I stay for the students who need to know they’re loved. So I love them. I’m desperate to remind them they are worthy and they are worth it—every minute.

I stay because this is my calling. Just because it’s a calling doesn’t mean its easy. It almost never is. But for as long as I’m called, you will find me in my classroom, coffee cup in hand, cheering on our future.

Because my students?

They’re worth it.

Last day of school with one of my classes and the students suddenly crowded around my desk for a selfie...I couldn't say no.

Last day of school with one of my classes. Students suddenly crowded around my desk for a selfie…I couldn’t say no.

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When Mommas Lose It

I hit the wall. My daughter, Ella, was two and I slammed my palm into dry wall. To keep myself from doing the unthinkable, I put a hole in the wall of my hallway. With my hand.

She had screamed for what seemed like hours about her breakfast. The breakfast she had always eaten before. The breakfast she had asked for.

No one tells a momma how to keep from loosing her mind when plates and waffles and peanut butter and syrup hit the floor.

My worst momma moment? Possibly? I’m sharing my heart today with The Moms Magazine, and I’d love for you to head on over to read more–to know you’re not alone…

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Why I Need People

I’m an introvert. Surprising for some. For those closest to my heart—they’re smiling. I have a habit of withdrawing from humanity. Necessary at times to restore my soul. The quiet awakens my spirit.

I need to be alone.

It’s easy for me to leave the world and curl into a little introverted ball. Safety lies in the silence. My mind has an opportunity to settle. To breathe. To relax. Solitude stills the fast beating of my heart.

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Stress. It pounds me to a pulp, and I want to shut the world out. Facing the chaos and the blaring, glaring noise shrinks my spirit. I get lost.

So I’m the girl relishing the prospect of meandering flea markets or visiting movie theaters alone. Arriving home at the end of the day with “Momma, Momma, Momma” on repeat without the shuffle leaves me guilty of yearning silence. To collect my thoughts. To come down from the day of pouring into teenage hearts and minds.

I’m drained. The spark is gone.

At times I’m arrogant enough to believe I don’t even need people. They take time, energy, effort. And I’m selfish.

I’m incredibly selfish.

While I do need space in my life for solitude, when I shut myself off from the rest of humanity, from my husband, from my children, I’m only thinking of, well, me. While I know others believe differently, I should never be my first priority.

I need to be alone. But not all the time. Because God did not create me for a solitary existence. No. His love is expressed through the relationships we have with others. I need people. People need each other.

When I choose solitude that extends beyond my need to regroup, I miss opportunities for beauty. There is a richness, a deep fountain of joy in the human connection. Our souls yearn for the touching of our souls, one to the other.

For all the pain relationships can bring, healing exists too. Our spouses, our children, our friends. Each brings incredible significance and meaning to who I am. Yes. Each helps to define my life—shape it, mold it, craft it.

Because this, this is the lesson. The more inward I turn, the less treasure I find.

Only in pursuing others, knowing others, loving others do I begin to really see the beauty of me—of being human.

I find myself, not from within but from without. My identity is discovered in the way I love people. My well of strength is shored up by the hands I hold. The mark I leave on the world only matters if I’m part of the world—part of its community.

A single drop of water cannot quench the thirsty, parched soil. It can do nothing alone—lost and insignificant. The land remains dry and unchanged. But the collective rains drench with nourishing waters. The land turns green and rivers flow.

To be a part of life means I must join the lovely, the people. Just as I must press into the Father, so I must lean into people. Learn to exhale within the connecting. Learn to breathe in their presence. Learn to be part of their community.

Because life.

Life means nothing if not shared. It is but a wisp of a moment.

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Why God Whispers

You know that weight? When your world squeezes tight and leaves you gasping for air. In and out. In and out. When you feel like you can take one more single step.

You’re not in the depths of depression. You’ve been there. This isn’t it.

Yet? You’re in the middle of life. And it’s cracking you up with its wearing-down force.

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Your children argue and bicker. All. day. long. The news plays death and destruction and beheadings and rocket blasts and selling saints as sex-slaves. Work piles up at work and dust bunnies multiply themselves at home. Frozen pizza rears its ugly-time-saving-everyone’s-happy-with-dinner head.

And then?

Your fat jeans don’t fit.

So you stand in the shower where salty tears mix in. You wish you could stay there all day. But the cold comes too soon.

Confusion tightens its grip.

Because you know there are mothers who will never hold their babies again rocking themselves back and forth while you look for ways to escape your own two children for a few blessed minutes.

Because you know some walk miles and miles for clean drinking water and you complain when your local Starbucks can’t serve coffee because a water main breaks. Boil water alert for a day? Try boil water alert for life.

And you know you should be grateful for the beautiful home you have because you’ve walked across the sewage filled alleys of a slum.

And there are so many without good jobs or who scrounge in dumps for their living, yet I complain about files and grading and planning and teaching.

Guilt and confusion. Because I know I’m in desperate need of perspective, but the stress doesn’t end. My kids keep fighting. The silence between Prince Charming and I can get so, so thick. And those jeans…

There are lives harder than mine. So. much. harder.

Perspective is needed. An awareness of the hurting hearts walking by us each day, reminds me sometimes I blow my pain out of proportion—out of the big blue sky. Sometimes I don’t. Because the pain is real.

Each struggle is an opportunity to grow. A chance to learn how to deal. One learned experience built on the foundation of another and another and another. I can look back and realize I’m stronger than I used to be. What breaks me today would have killed me a few years ago.

This helps me pull the log out of my judgmental eye. The one that mutters I can’t believe she’s whining about that… Because we all are on this walk but no one goes at the same pace.

No one goes at the same pace.

So. When the weight of your own world? When it falls heavy on your shoulders? When one more step would put you under?

Lean in. Press into Him.

Because when someone whispers next to you, and you want to hear what they say? Your only option in this world-weary moment is to get close, to lean in to the voice so quiet.

Why does our Jesus whisper? Why is His voice so still? So small?

Because He wants us to lean in. To draw close. To sink into the safety of His embrace. When we enter the space of the Holy One, His voice becomes clear. His words understood. His love felt. We worship a Jesus who wants us to know who He is and how he loves us. And Oh. How He loves us.

The more we sit close to the One who loves us without restraint, the more we see. We see with fresh perspective the hard days will plague our lives, but the God who sees is there too. And when we choose to draw near to Him? The struggles don’t go away. Wish they did. So much.

But when we lean into the Jesus-love standing right there, He is magnified. Better than our bad days. Stronger than our weak moments. Calmer than our chaotic schedules.

Why does He whisper? Because He knows we need Him. The only way to survive this life is to snuggle up into the arms of the One who loves no matter what. And if you find His voice drowned out by life’s clamor, press further in.

Press in. Lean in. Don’t stop until you hear His whisper. Do you hear it yet?

His voice, His message for your weary heart will always glow with…Beloved. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Relationship with God, Struggles | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Letting My Kids Fail

Spring of my eighth grade year. Cheerleading tryouts. I wasn’t athletic. My hand-eye coordination was iffy. And learning steps to a routine? Forget about it.

But I tried out anyway.

Looking back, I marvel at my confidence. I mean my rhythm has always been questionable. I’ll never forget performing the dance routine for the judges wondering why the girls in my group weren’t keeping time with the music like me.

I knew my name was going to show up on the roster. But it didn’t. I was cut. I tried. I failed.

I’m beyond blessed and super stoked to be named a new contributor for the Orlando Mom’s Blog. I’d love for you to click on over here to read the rest of today’s post. I feel it in my heart and down to my tippy toes…

 

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Because Motherhood isn’t Glamorous

Hey Momma.

I know. I know those tired eyes and that sleepy soul. I see the dirt smudges on your knees from crawling through the playground tunnel. I hear the sigh you didn’t heave after changing your second diaper in five minutes.My Newborn Son

I listen as you say, “No. Spiderman can’t bathe in the toilet” for the ten thousandth time. I watch the way your shoulders sag in the grocery store when the baby screams from her car seat, and the toddler wants to practice his diving skills off the back of the cart, and you just want to go home. But you can’t live on frozen pizza alone. Or can you?

I see you.

You bind imaginary wounds with superhero Band-Aids. You jam out to the Fresh Beat Band in the car on a late night errand—forgetting no kids are riding with you. You scrape sticky sweet syrup off the floor ten times this week, even though you can’t remember the last time you actually mopped. What’s the use?

You throw shoes across the kitchen when the scary preschooler screamed for 45 minutes about the sneakers he wasn’t going to wear and you threaten to take every last blessed one of his stinkin’ shoes to the dump. (Then you remember yourself and say you’ll take them to a little boy whose feet were bare…)

Because that’s what good moms do. Right?

You drive the same carpool route every day and you may or may not remember to brush your teeth before leaving the house. You forget to buckle up your toddler but that’s okay. She reminds you halfway out the driveway. You now all have whiplash.

You prevented a million potential trips to the ER today, yet your pinky toe will never be the same after catching it on the chair leg. Neither will your 5th grader after she hears a real ‘s’ word, that no longer resembles stupid, come out of your mouth.

Your The 5th grader’s homework is finally finished. The preschooler’s face is smashed nose-close to the tablet screen. Dinner that wasn’t mac-n-cheese hit the table. Baths are done. And the house is finally quiet.

You could read a book. Catch up on some shows. Take a hot bath. Or?

Sleep. You could just sleep.

And as you lay your head against the cool pillowcase, you wonder in the heavy silence, What am I even doing here? This is not what I imagined motherhood to be.

Because there’s no glamor in mothering. It’s not shiny and polished. It’s gritty and dirty. Selfless acts go unnoticed. Loneliness often seems your only friend.

You stare at the cover model moms in the checkout lane remembering your stained t-shirt, sweat pants and chipped toenails. The last shower you took? A distant memory. Yet that model…You forget she’s just glamor airbrushed in.

The sigh sinks into the depths of your mothering soul.

And you know.

There’s no award for still breathing and nursing and burping and diapering with only four hours of sleep in a 48-hour period. Medals of honor aren’t handed to those who’ve prayed through every test, sporting event, speech, recital, and every friend lost. Trophies don’t come for those who run the race of motherhood.

But Momma? That’s okay.

It’s important work, raising young souls. It’s our most important work.

Because…

Because we don’t know the future of the children we raise.

Billy Graham’s momma didn’t know she was raising the greatest evangelist our world has ever known. Nelson Mandela’s momma didn’t know she was bringing up peace for a nation. Mother Teresa’s momma didn’t know she was raising mercy with skin on.

My third grade teacher’s momma didn’t know she was loving a daughter that would teach me I was worthy. The mommas of my dearest friends didn’t know they were rearing children that understand what it means to carry a burden.

Motherhood is noble.

It doesn’t need glamour or glitz. Because it’s real. Because you are pouring into the cup of a child who will one day affect the lives of others. And when done well, when we scrape our knees bloody against the floor from our prayers, Mothering can change the world.

You, momma? You make a difference. You are changing this world one sleepless night at a time.

Do not be discouraged.

Do not be dismayed.

Your children need you.

They need you to teach them to be humans of compassion, of love, of empathy. They need you to teach them who Jesus is, not because you tell them, but because you show them. They need you.

This is the most important work you will ever do.

This mothering? This is your sacred calling.

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Because You Matter

It was ages ago. I was in the throws of a hellish middle school experience. A brushed-out perm, pink 80s glasses, and extra fluff around the middle don’t get a kid far at 13. It should also be said that being the no-filter-ADHD-please-like-me girl ushered me into the that kid status.

I spent afternoons laying on my bed, listening to Sinead O’Conner (probably not the smartest move for a depressed soul), staring up at the window above my headboard, watching the light dance through the blinds.

No one would miss me if I just ran away.

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That was the dialogue my head repeated over and over again as I trudged through the taunts and jeers of bullies in middle school. My mother’s horrified as she’s reading this. But she would also tell you a mother’s love can only go so far to ease the hurt of her children.

For years I’ve watched students on the outskirts. Students who walk into my classroom without ever looking in my eyes because they believe they’re not worth being truly seen—known. They believe they don’t matter.

And the classroom is only a microcosm of society. Because she walks into church dragging the weight of her mistakes with her shoulders hunched low, scraping against the backs of pews and sinners.

On the street corner he crouches, head bent against the scorching sun and grime-filled fingers hold a sign—Brother can you spare a dime?

Her children fight and fuss and scream down the grocery aisle while she clings to the cart by a thread wondering if there’s more to life than showerless days and adultless conversations.

In the office where gray walls bleed into reality, he tap, tap, taps the keyboard, staring into spreadsheet oblivion hoping he may just get to see the kids this weekend.

All of them with the same three words echoing through their thoughts.

I don’t matter.

It’s the cry of the human condition.

Painful words for someone who once believed them. Painful words for the one who believes them now.

We want to believe we are important—more than a simple number in time. We’re desperate to know our lives have purpose and meaning. When we realize there’s a reason for our birth, we can see reason for our days.

Insignificance. No bigger lie dwells in our souls. No bigger lie threatens the goodness of God more. Because we matter.

We. Matter.

We have value, not because of what we accomplish, but because we exist. We’re significant because we have breath. We have worth because our heart beats within our chest.

You’re important because on a planet with billions of people walking through their days, there is not a single one like you. Or like me. The master artist created His finest work when He created you.

The one thing that kept me home? The one reason I never ran away? The one reason my life found the light of Hope?

I knew Jesus.

If I never mattered to a single person on this planet, I mattered to Him.

That became enough.

And now? Because I have a purpose, because I matter? I have work to do. How can we heal the wounds of the outcasts? How can we bring healing to a culture that only allows a few to have a chance at significance?

By being brave. By being bold. By wrapping our arms around those only a few dare to love. By teaching our children to do the same.

Friends, we must look into the eyes of humanity and see people—really see them.

Every soul matters. Every. single. one. Christ proved it when he so loved the whole wide world from the splintered wood of the cross.

I want to stop seeing black and white, gay and straight, affluent and marginalized, Muslim and Christian, college educated and high school dropout. Instead? I want to open my eyes and see humans and love them. God’s finest artwork.

I want to stop seeing labels and start seeing souls.

Because every soul matters.

I’m in love with the God who sees us for who we really are—not for the names we’ve been called. I’m in love with the God who sees me. Who sees you. I’m in love with the God who adores His creation.

And if He were to write on walls today? Words He might want you to see?

People matter.

You matter.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Relationship with God, Struggles | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

When We Need to be Ready to Fight Giants

Do you ever wish you were someone else? The phrase I wish I was more like… floats through my thoughts. I pick at it. Hold it. Some days I clutch at the words, grasping to be someone I’m not.

I wish I could write like her. Or I looked like so-and-so. Or my house had an open floor plan like theirs. Or my kids were more compliant. So much time spent wishing. Wishing I was more. Wishing I was less. You fill in the blank. I do. All. the. time.

I’m not alone.

Over the last few days my students have colored on paper masks. One reason? High-schoolers still need the restoration only a crayon can bring. But their masks were also symbols. Symbols of the person they often try to hide.

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I instructed them to color and draw images that represented parts of their lives they were afraid to show. In essence? Their masks became who they really are.

Because we try to hide who we are.

Because we’d rather be someone we’re not.

Because comparison is a bitter pill we all try to swallow.

But can the sun compare itself to the moon? A flower to a steady stream? Day to night? Spring to Fall? A bird to a fish? We can never be someone we’re not.

Why do we try? In this life the flowers of humanity often try to be streams. And chaos ensues. Can you imagine if the sun decided to be the moon? Ridiculous. Yet, at times, we all attempt to be someone else.

When really? We should be ourselves. Right?

These are words we hear, but they aren’t words we know deep—where peace dwells.

There’s this story. In the Bible. You may have heard it a time or two. A scrawny teenage kid named David defeats a giant of a man named Goliath. One sling shot, five stones, and Goliath loses his last battle.

There may be a part of the story you don’t know. A few lines that cut my heart quick and deep. Words that have sunk in and are swirling around. These are the words I want to grab with white-tight knuckles, so I can rip the mask off forever.

Before David went in to battle the giant, Saul dressed the tiny shepherd boy in the king’s tunic and armor. David was under the weight of Saul’s clothing—Saul’s armor. The young, wiser-than-me David says this: “I can’t walk in these…I’m not used to them.”

Then he took off Saul’s armor.

Wait. What? Why would David want to take off Saul’s protective armor? It seems reasonable to me if I were facing a giant, I would want the heaviest suit of armor I could find. That way, not a single spear could penetrate.

David knew better.

David refused to be someone else. He faced the giant as only he could—he was himself. And if he hadn’t chosen to shed Saul’s heavy armor? Goliath would’ve quickly killed the weighed-down-with-armor shepherd boy.

His unwavering faith in God and unswerving choice to be who God created him to be brought sweet victory to David.

He defeated the giant.

When we try to cover ourselves with the weight of comparison? When we attempt to fight our giants as someone else? When we attempt to be someone other than who we are created to be? We will fail. And the giants in our lives will win.

The only way I will ever beat the Goliaths and the bullies in my life is when I am truly who my Creator fashioned me to be. I’ve been shaped and molded for my battles throughout life. I lose that shape when I compare and strive to be someone else.

But it’s so hard.

I still wear the masks and armor I think the world wants to see. Because if you don’t accept the mask, well, you aren’t really rejecting—me. But when I show you who I really am? I open myself up to the possible devastation of rejection.

But when I show you who I really am?

I get the chance to fulfill my purpose. My God-sized dreams. And those dreams? They can only be realized when I am truly myself. I get the chance to lose the striving and the stress that comes from trying to fit my diamond-shaped peg into an earthly round hole.

We are all diamonds with sparkles and slants that catch the light just right. When we attempt to change those different shaped edges we lose the ability to reflect the brilliant Light, leaving us dull and lifeless.

I’m the only me that will ever be.

You’re the only you.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Joy, Relationship with God | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

How to Love on Our Schools

The bell is poised to ring. The teacher breathes deep. Pencils sharpened to a perfect point and stacks of brilliant colored paper arranged in neat bins. Bulletin boards fresh and bottles of glue in tight little rows. Everything in just the right place.

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Waiting.

Waiting for eager voices to enter with nervous laughter. A new school year stands ready to begin. Be it public, charter, or private, our nation’s schools will open their doors to millions of this year.

Millions of hurting students. And millions of exhausted teachers.

The church has an opportunity.

Blessed to be over at LifeWay today. I’d love to have you click on over there to read more about the opportunity we have in our schools.

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Lessons for the First Year Teacher

Dear New Teacher and Nervous Soul,

I know how you feel. Those butterflies turned evil in your stomach, tying knots? I’ve had them. Wondering if you’ve made the right decision. If you’re ready to face the responsibility. If you’ve got what it takes. I know those questions well.

But there’s excitement too. In there somewhere?

Clamoring voices will soon enter through your doors and a new life will begin. In so many ways your life will not be your own. Ever again. That’s the reality—and the beauty—of teaching.

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In coming days new colleagues will either encourage you or horrify you with their battlefield stories. You must choose the voices you ponder.

May I add my voice? I’m not the best teacher you will meet, and I’ve never been teacher of the year. But there are still words I want to whisper. Words I was desperate to hear. Do you mind if I lean in?

I’m excited you’ve chosen this profession. I know you’ve heard the snide remarks and seen the looks of pity cast your way. The warnings of hazards and pay and kids these days. But I’m thrilled you’ve ignored those voices.

Welcome. I’m so glad to have you.

College can never fully prepare you for the work of teaching—nothing could. But that’s okay. Experience can be life’s greatest professor if you’re willing to learn. Because mistakes will be made. The only redemption in a mistake is to learn from it.

Your school friends? They must always include your custodian and the school secretaries. Your degree doesn’t make you better than them—my favorite custodian for the last three years held a masters in teaching from his home country. You can’t do your job if the custodians and secretaries aren’t doing theirs. It takes a village. Be grateful for yours.

Don’t be afraid to break some rules. Bureaucracy will always exist, but you don’t have to bow to it. The best teacher is the one who does what’s best for the student. Just because your lesson plans and your government have an agenda, don’t miss the teachable moments. They don’t happen every day.

Be open to old ideas from teachers who’ve honed their craft. Wise educators that have paved rough roads will surround you. A great teacher is never dependent upon age. Seek out those teachers. Learn from them. I promise, they’re not hard to find.

Avoid bitterness—like the plague. Avoid where it harbors. Not every workroom is filled with its poison, but you will feel it quickly if it is. And then run. Don’t look back.

Your students will break your heart. There will be some you can’t reach. You will ache to touch their hurting places but their walls will be just too high. You will toss and turn in the night carrying their pain with you. It will sometimes seem too much to bear. But you will bear it because you may be the only one, for some students, that even tries.

Perfect your craft. Never stop learning how to be a better teacher. I’ve been doing this a while but there are days I feel like a novice, like a new babe only breathing her first gulp of air. The best teacher is also the best student.

Choose when you discipline wisely. There are battles worth fighting. But sometimes the cost is just too high. Your battle may be won while the relationship with your student is forever severed. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Sometimes you do.

Though you may want to, you can’t demand respect. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not right. But if you ever want to reach your students, you must show them respect day after day after day. Even when they disrespect you. Only then will they trust. And the relationship you get in return? Beautiful.

You will never win a yelling match with a student. Ever. Screaming at any young heart always shreds—always leaves scars. Don’t leave scars. Your words can wound. Deeply. Forever.

You hold more power than you think.

Take time to listen to what your students aren’t saying. Their eyes tell stories. So do their actions. Do you have a student that needs to sleep in your class every day? Ask them why they’re so tired. The answer may surprise you—and haunt you.

You can make a difference. But if, and only if, you love your students. Look every one of your students in the eye, every day. Let them know you care. Tell them they are worth your time. Love them. Love them.

Love them.

This job? This profession? This calling? It’s worth it. Worth the time. Worth the cost. Worth the toil. Worth the heartache. Because there is joy in teaching. Joy in changing lives and witnessing a life reach toward a dream for the first time.

You are the champion of dreams. The compass leading confusion through the wilderness. The voice of today helping mold the voice of tomorrow. Yes. It’s worth it.

You’re ready. You’ve got what it takes.
Students need your guidance.
They’re waiting.
For you.

And for me. Because while I wrote this letter to you, it’s words need to ring in my head too. A reminder. Of all the things that matter in teaching.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Joy, Teaching | Tagged , | 31 Comments