The school year is well under way and I wake up each morning to greet the 20 faces that I call my children. Each and Every one of them has become more than a student; I have given 20 children a piece of my heart as we come together to learn and grow. Monday through Friday I spend approximately 8 hours with these 20, encouraging and motivating them to do their best even when it gets hard.
What they don’t know is that I take each one of them home in my heart every night and every weekend. I spend my evenings thinking of a new way to make one student gain an understanding of subtraction, or finding a fun trick for another to learn new vocabulary. I pour over books to find the best fit for their abilities and interests. I create a game in an attempt to make our math lesson more engaging and interactive.
They are my family.
I can tell when they walk into my classroom whether or not they had a good night at home. Some of my little ones have been handed an especially challenging life so far and my heart breaks when another obstacle appears in their paths. I send them home each night, hoping and praying that the love and encouragement that they feel at school carries over into their time at home.
If only I could love them all day every day.
I have been called to this profession, not because I can protect and teach these children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have been called to be a teacher because I can love and guide them every hour of every day that they are in my classroom. My job is to be everything for them- a comforter, an encourager, a motivator, an educator, a nurse, a listener, and so much more- when they are mine, in the hope that they will grow into the amazing individuals that I know they can be.
I am a teacher.
My students may not appreciate the math problems that I have them work on each day. They may even hate the fact that I want them to read- what a terrible thing to do! But they know, without a doubt, that I will be there when their world seems to be falling to pieces. They know that they can trust me with anything and that I would move mountains for them if I could.
I give 20 hugs at the end of the day, as I watch my children load onto buses and into cars. They will return again tomorrow and we will do it all again. Why do I do it? Because I know that these children need the light and love of Jesus in their lives. He has provided me with the skills and gifts necessary to fulfill this calling- He is faithful. And his faithfulness is the reason that I give my students everything I have every day of the week.
Why do you do what you do?
Shelby is a Senior Elementary Education major with a Spanish minor. She works as a barista and spends mornings in a 2nd grade class as a student teacher. As an Air Force brat, she has moved all around the United States and traveled to several other countries. In her free time, Shelby loves spending time with her family, adventuring with her boyfriend, and making memories with her friends. In every area of her life, God comes first, although she has to remind herself to trust Him in every situation. Through writing, Shelby hopes to show people the great grace of her Savior and how to live life to the fullest.