I am a teacher. I am thankful that God called me to share His love with children every day and that I get to have a small part in shaping the future. No matter where I am or what I’m doing-I’m always a teacher. I can’t turn it off-I’ve tried! If a teacher is what God has called me to be, I must seek His strength constantly so I can be the best teacher I can be. He is the one who equips me to do the things He calls me to and this week I saw yet another example of His faithfulness to use me in ways I didn’t plan for.
Last week we started going to a Honduran Bilingual School to help out. We thought we would just be assisting in the classrooms or tutoring one on one. When we arrived Tuesday morning the first thing the director asked was, “Which one of you is the 4th grade teacher in the United States?”. I told her it was me, and she was excited! She explained to us that they didn’t have a consistent fourth grade teacher and that they would like for me to take over while I’m here. How awesome is it that they needed a teacher in the same grade I teach at home? God is sovereign and consistently shows me that He will use me. That is such an overwhelming blessing because He doesn’t need me, but He chooses to use me. God has equipped me to be a teacher and even in Honduras He is providing opportunities for me to teach. So, every Tuesday and Thursday I am the 4th grade teacher. I teach all subjects from 7 until 1. I am able to teach mostly in English, but with certain concepts my Spanish is necessary because they don’t understand in English. I definitely appreciate all your prayers-we are working on 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication! 🙂
As I have been interacting with students (at the school and also in our English classes) I have been broken thinking about the lack of education that is present. The school where we are working is a private school (which makes it unaffordable for many) and even in this school many of the teachers lack any formal education training. The most recent 4th grade teacher has no education background, she studied English for 2 years and this is the only qualification she needed. I believe she truly wants to help the kids, and I am working to encourage her every day and help her to feel empowered as a teacher. I’m working on classroom management-you guys know that I can’t handle chaos! 🙂 The other school in our town in the public school and it is definitely a lot more sporadic than the private school. Some days the students just don’t have school because the teacher doesn’t show up. This is heart breaking. They have such a desire to learn, but lack the opportunities. In the United States it seems the reverse is often true-opportunities are abounding but kids have lost the desire. There is power in education, I’m a firm believer of that fact. I read an article this week about Malala, the Pakistani girl who was shot for attending school, about her presentation to the U.N. and it was so powerful. She said, “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” Wow! I know that I’m an idealist and a hopeless optimist when it comes to education, but I completely agree! We need to realize how much we are blessed in the United States when it comes to education. I could keep going, but I’ll get off the education topic. You should definitely check out the articles about her online. She’s an awesome girl!
As much as I do believe in the power of education and the impact that better education for children around the world could have, the only true saving and redeeming power comes from Christ. As a teacher who is a believer I have unique opportunities to work with children and to strive daily to demonstrate grace (even though I often fail) and in doing this I strive to point my kids to Christ. It is such a blessing to do the things that I love to do in the United States and in Honduras and my prayer is that God would continue to provide opportunities to use the gifts he has blessed me with! I hope that we will seek the opportunities daily that Christ provides us with to use the gifts He has blessed and equipped us with and that we wouldn’t miss them. It is my prayer that we would not forget what a blessing it is to be used by Him-every single day to spread His love.
On our 2nd day at the school one of the students brought me an apple! 🙂