I’m a teacher. I’ve been a teacher for 7 years…at least that’s how long I’ve been paid to do it. Teaching opens up really interesting relationships…with co-workers, with parents, with kids. Especially with kids.
I love my kids…all 500 or so of them. I have different relationships with each group of them. Some of them love my subject matter and so they come with a positive outlook on who I am to them. Some of them do not feel very artistically gifted, and that changes their approach not just to my class, but to me. Some of them are older (middle or high school aged)…and this changes how they interact with me. (They are not nearly as surprised to discover that I actually do go to the store and to church…that I do not live at school.)
And with each group I find different ways to teach them what they need to learn. To speak truth and encouragement to them in ways that they are able to process based on their age and relationship to Christ.
This is not the part I love the most. My subject matter is great and I totally love it, but when I have the opportunity to truly invest in my kids…that rocks.
I love pouring into my kids. Occassionally this happens in the younger grades, but not as often because there are not as many opportunities to get to know them individually as people. With my older students, however, between extra curricular activities and opportunities that arise through the course of the year, I do get to know them as people…and they get to know me.
That is the best.
Because it opens doors. I have opportunites to talk to them about Jesus. About what living a life in relationship with Him…about functioning in a society that does not always support or acknowledge Him. What that’s like…how it’s hard…when it makes you grow.
That is when I feel I’m being used to my full potential. When they come and say…”You know, I’ve been thinking…” or “Can I talk to you?” It’s amazing. They don’t all do this…but the ones that do…that ask me to pray for them, that ask me questions about Jesus and how He relates to them where they are at…that is my highest calling.
It’s the investment opportunity.