After school today from 3-5 pm, we had our open house. It was quite different from the open houses that I had at my middle and high school. Back home, my parents would follow my schedule and parents would herd through the halls to meet each teacher. Today, the teachers worked in their rooms and spoke with parents as they came in to see how their child was doing. Out of my 50 or so 7th and 8th graders, probably about 15 had someone come (a mom, dad, older sister, grandma)- that’s approximately 30% (we’ve been working with percents so much, I couldn’t help but calculate it! :-P) It was great to speak with the parents a bit to help me understand a little bit more about where these kids are coming from.
Not surprisingly, for the parents who showed up, I didn’t really have anything negative to say about their child. The fact that the parent (or relative) showed up to meet their child’s teachers demonstrates that they value their child’s education. Knowing that many of my students are not getting much needed suppot at home, both academically and emotionally, both frustrates me and makes me feel helpless… to a certain degree. Yes, I am in a position to impact the lives of these kids and I pray that God would utilize every gift he has given me. But at the same time, no matter what I say to these children, I can’t change the homes that they walk home to everyday. Only God has the power to change such deeply rooted injustices.
What was Robbie’s dad up to this afternoon? Where was Sidney’s mom today? What about Bo’s parents? Since for whatever reason these parents have not stepped up, I guess I’ll do what I can. I’ll step up and speak life into these kids. These kids have been cursed by teachers, relatives, peers– but I cannot and will not join these voices. I’m eager to bless these children and speak truth and hope into their lives! And it has been kind of weird- they almost seem surprised when I tell them I like them. But I’m not putting up a front or lying through my teeth (if you know me at all, you know I’m a terrible liar!). I genuinely enjoy working with them. They make me laugh. They frustrate me on occasion. But most importantly, they make me come alive! 🙂 This is what God created me to do. This is who he created me to be!
How I got from open house to that, I don’t really know, but there you have it, folks!