Today was the last day of school!
But getting high percentages on high stakes testing isn't really how I measure success at all. This is an excerpt from an email I opened just a bit ago from one of my students.
I meant what I wrote in your memory book, about you being my hero. The more I get to know you, the more I want to be just like you when I grow up. I never thought my role model would be my teacher and friend, but surprises happen every day! I just admire the way you can always trust in God, even through the hard times. I accepted Christ when I was 5, but sometimes I doubt whether he's really there, because I can't really feel him, ya know? I know I should be reading the bible and stuff every day, but sometimes I forget, and when I do remember, I don't really feel like it, but at Church and things like that, I get really into it. Anyway, I hope I can learn to be like you.
Reading that letter DID bring the puddle of tears. It's such a jolt to read something like that because I tend to focus on my failures. So many things have not turned out "right" in my life, and yet this child is looking up to me. I feel like there's just so much she doesn't know about the "just like me" she has in her head. I'll let you know how I respond to her.
I wanted you to know that it's very touching for me to hear you say that I'm your hero, but it's also a bit scary. I know you are very level-headed, but for my own peace of mind I just want to respond to your sentiment a bit. The thing is, you are seeing me only during a tiny space of time....and it happens to be a time when I'm doing the very thing I feel most called to do in the world. Teaching gives me a great opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like qualities. Jesus was a teacher, after all, and for me, teaching and being like Him go hand-in hand. I have to be honest with you and let you know that there are many other times during the day and during the week when I have a great deal of difficulty maintaining a Christ-like attitude. Also, some of the difficulties I've faced, have been a direct result of my own bad choices. I think one of the reasons I'm able to trust in God so strongly now is because there have been times when I barely trusted in Him at all. I guess I just want to remind you that the qualities you admire in me aren't really "me"....they are just me allowing Christ to show up and I honestly feel much of the time that I'm just barely squeaking that out. I don't want you to think that I'm belittling your compliment, I'm not. But I do think your words about me say much about you. It's clear that you choose to focus on the good and you are merciful and graceful toward others. I'm honored to be the recipient of your esteem!