2007-10-19 - The Return to Middle School
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 NIV)
I never thought I would return to middle school. Once was enough. This time it was me in front of the classroom teaching, instead of behind the student desks trying to get comfortable.
I learned to gobble my food in 20 minutes while watching preadolescents do the same, and prayed they didn't think to fly their food across the room. It was there in the cafeteria, that I introduced my students to exotic fruits and vegetables they never saw before, like kiwis and cucumbers. Foods most of us take for granted.
At times I fell back into the insecurities of being a teenager in my own middle school. It felt strange to feel like I didn't fit in as a teacher. I talked to veteran educators, and attended countless educational conferences to make up for my lack of training and experience. But no matter how difficult my job was, I cared about these kids. I wanted them to care, to succeed.
Perhaps I had to go back to middle school because I haven't learned all I need to know yet. I think it goes beyond memorizing how many countries are found in Asia, or what the grammatical rules for quotation marks are. It is about contentment and patience where life's journey places you, for the moment. However long the moment lasts. Perhaps it is as simple as bringing a smile or encouragement to a child that needs it.
Lord, Help me do what I am supposed to do for Your glory. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.