Sunday, March 9, 2008

This is Why I'm Here

Okay, so I'm here to teach and to form impressionable young minds. We all know that. But sometimes it's hard to remember or understand exactly why I was called here, because I do believe I was called. So, I just quickly wanted share something that I heard at church last week because I think it's something we can all employ in our lives with many different people.

I think I have a different approach than TFA a lot of times. My job is to teach and to "close the achievement gap," but, as corny as it sounds, I believe in educating both the heart and the mind. My job is to teach the letters and patterns and basic literacy and math. My job is also to teach these kids that someone loves them and, therefore, they should love themselves enough to work hard and learn to follow their dreams in life. School is a place that is safe where people love them and will take care of them.

For several of my students, I think that this approach is what will (hopefully) "save" them from being the 13-year-old fifth grader. They won't be so disruptive and angry (i.e. T) that they don't learn anything and are held back year after year, ultimately dropping out or incarcerated. As much as I hate to admit it, there are certain students of mine for whom I fear this future and I'm trying to teach them enough love that they can make something of their lives. It's so corny, I know, but it seems to be working for some of them. The saga of T will probably be a near-future post (I could have a blog just on him).

The results make me believe that this approach works for me and my students, but more importantly this is what I heard in church last Sunday. A couple from Emmaus Ministries (not the Emmaus of the Emmaus walk) work in Chicago and in Houston with men who are homeless hustlers (male prostitutes) and drug abusers. Of their work (which can be applied to anyone), they said, "You can't tell somebody about love. You have to love them. They have to know what it is to be loved so that they can experience love at the table of God." How incredible is that? It is our job to love one another, especially those who don't know love, so that we can all experience the indescribable love of God. That's why I'm here, to love these four and five-year-olds, some of whom have no concept of what love is. These little babies who, when I say, "Just come and talk to me, I'm not going to yell and I'm not going to hit you" when I'm upset with them, respond, "That's right, only mommies hit."

"'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'" John 13:34-35

1 comment:

  1. I know this is odd, but I found your blog through another corps member's page...and I loved your last post. I wrote a quote from your blog and put it on my desk to remember.

    I am an 08 corps member and I am looking for a church. My email is Is there anyway you can email me the name of your church?>