Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Common, Everyday Teacher

I have a teacher voice.  I know it.  It's hard to shake.  I need it for survival.  

My voice says I mean business.  

It's not a loud voice. It's not a pleading voice. It's not a mean voice.

It's a firm voice.  It doesn't waiver.  It means what it says and says what it means.

I think all teachers have strengths. 

Some can deliver content like nobody's business. Some can engage the most amazing classroom discussions. Some can create the most intricate and well-aligned lesson plans. Some have the patience to listen to stories about pet kittens and birthday skating parties that last seven minutes when they're just trying to get out the door for lunch.

I can't really claim any of those. Especially the last one.

But I can make even the hardest-to-handle students cooperate.  That's right.  Classroom management is where you'll find my area of expertise. That's where my teacher voice comes in handy.

My management skills did not make me an exceptional teacher.  I couldn't engage the students in real life like they do in the movies or on television.  I wasn't inspirational. I wasn't teacher-of-the-year material.

I was kinda common and everyday.

But sometimes common and everyday are okay.  

Common is predictable and consistent. Everyday is safe and sure.  All something that my hardest students needed.

It's why I moved beyond teaching the hard-to-handle students into raising them.

And I'm so thankful I did.

God gifts us all in different ways.  It's what makes us good at certain things.  It's why some teachers can inspire creativity and others can get the quiet ones to talk.  Everyone has their strong areas.

My area of strength allowed me to watch a hard-to-handle, unwanted, foster kid transform into a lovely, compassionate, unconditionally-loved daughter who I couldn't imagine spending a day without.  Three times.

When my girls first came into my home they were rough around the edges.  And they were all edges.  What did they need in order to smooth out the rough spots?  Predictability and consistency.  They needed to feel safe with me and sure that they were really home for good.

Funny how those were the things I had to offer.

I've learned to be content with the gifts God has entrusted me with.  I strive to always be growing in them.  Constantly working to be the person God designed me to be.

I don't have to stand out.  I can be common.  I can be everyday.  Because when bedtime rolls around and I snuggle up with my three precious daughters, common and everyday are the most beautiful of all gifts.


Kim Oldenburgh said...

This is a beautiful post. You have some lucky girls and they have a lucky mama! Every year, I have a few students I wish I could bring home with me.

A House Called Home said...

Kim - Thank you for your comment! Teaching can really pull the heart strings. I think it makes us all better teachers in the end!

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