I have spent the last 3 weeks working Monday through Friday. I work at a high school, in case you hadn’t noticed from previous blogs. It’s funny what students notice. It’s also funny what happens when you engage with them.
I have been trying not to be impatient with my students this week. It has been hard. They have been a little squirrelly due to the 2 week break that is now here. They have also had changes in schedules both here and many times at home.
There are concerts to attend, cookies to bake, projects to complete, unit tests to study for, & so many other things that make this holiday lovely.
Some of my students moved, found out about illness, lost their homes, made bad life choices, forgot about projects, didn’t study for those unit tests, and many other things that may not only make the holiday less lovely but also the life that comes after the holiday.
The last three weeks at work have been good and my eyes have been opened to their conditions in and out of school.
I came to a startling realization this morning when, at 6:00 AM my husband went and gently woke our younger son up so they could make fresh salsa for the cultural experience they had today at school. Ethan helped his dad make salsa and my mom helped him carry it into his school this morning and give proper storage and warming directions to the teacher for this afternoon.
My children have had that sort of support their whole lives. They do not know what it looks like to have their safety or well being jeopardized by anything!
While I am fairly certain (notice I do not say 100% certain) that I do not have many students who are held in bondage against their will or who have been sold I am certain that I have quite a number who have not known the certainty of the love and support my children have had their whole lives.
To have both a parent and a grandparent go out of their way to take food to a school party is something many of my students do not understand.
That sort of support allows a freedom to be who you want and to pursue a life of freedom and choice. That sort of freedom can also be very scary without close conversation about direction and purpose (we make sure we try to give the proper guidance).
What is fantastic is that they have me (and the other teacher and support staff) at our school. My students share information with me that I can either counsel them on or send them to the right person who will be able to counsel them appropriately.
It is nice to be the person they see and then walk in the room (actually having been looking for me) with a “hang dog” look on their face to tell me something they think they did wrong. It is nice to tell them they are over reacting or that they aren’t and they have a chance to change their direction. It is also really nice when I can challenge them to do better and BE better. I always smile when they call me mom because they have no idea what calling me mom allows me to do 😉 they just trust me enough that they want me in the inner circle of confidence.
I love that I am able to reach them on a different and life lesson level not just on a textbook and test level.
That is what this whole month has been about, so far, right? A chance for others to have a different life? A chance? A choice, finally? A change?
If you haven’t already check out the change IJM is making in the world. It has been amazing what the 700 staffers around the world are able to do with the money that people like you and me give to their organization. This month the dresses you have been watching me wear are similar to a 3-day or a 5-k that other people do. Mine just last a lot longer! I am wearing dresses so that I can help raise awareness about the 29.8 million slaves in the world and also raise money to rescue them. I am also spending time in prayer and meditation about their plight and the courage it takes IJM to find them and rescue them. My friend wrote a fantastic holiday meditation book called O Antiphons. While is it about the holiday the tip that you leave on Noisetrade will benefit IJM as well. You should check it out!
Will you join me? Hit any of the links above to find out more or to give. If that isn’t something you can do then I know you can pray. That is something we all can do. A short simple prayer of supplication for freedom and courage for those who need it most.
Thank you for joining me so far….only 12 days left in this journey!
PS aren’t my students adorable?!