|My favorite class of second graders from my externship.|
There are a multitude of responses I receive when I tell someone that I am an elementary education major. Some are encouraging and supportive while others assume that I do not know what I am getting myself into. Regardless of the response I receive, the smile on my face grows wider each time I proclaim that I am going to be a teacher. I believe wholeheartedly that teaching is a calling, and that God has created me to be a teacher.
My deepest desire is for the children in my classroom to know their immense worth and that there is at least one person in the world who believes in them. As much as I want to be a part of my students’ academic growth, I equally want to influence their emotional and social growth. I want to laugh with my students and be their biggest encourager. I want them to leave my classroom knowing that they do matter.
Most of all, I want to love on my kids…even when they test me and seem unlovable. Every day my students will stretch and challenge me, and when I'm overwhelmed I will remember just how much patience and grace God has lavished upon me. I realize that I may be their only example of Jesus, and with that comes a tremendous privilege and responsibility.
My dreams and expectations are huge, but I am not naive. I understand that there are numerous problems and headaches that come with being in the system of education today. From the alarming attrition rate of teachers, to lack of parent involvement, to the decreased funding for education, and so on. Being an educator’s daughter, I have been exposed to the education system all of my life, and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Each year, I witness the trials and frustrations that my mom experiences, but I also see the triumphs and immeasurable joy that far exceed the difficulties. Even though educators are facing more issues than ever in the past, my love for teaching continues to grow stronger.
Simply put, education is my passion and my heart longs to be in the classroom. In Mark 9:37, the Lord said, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Each morning that I receive my students into my classroom, I know that I will be fulfilling His purpose for me.