“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
As a Christian teacher at a public school, my responsibilities, passion, and focus go deeper than merely teaching my students academic principles. Though I am not able to verbally share my faith at school, my hope and prayer is that I will be a role model for my students, reflecting the character of Christ. Yesterday I was reminded that my students do pick up on my character. Two 7th grade girls had chosen music for the background of their commercial, and while they were out of the room, another student quietly informed me that the words and message of the song they had chosen are inappropriate. As I talked with her, I could tell that her intention was not to get the other girls in trouble but to help me keep the standards I had set for class.
This year I have struggled with classroom management—a common struggle for many teachers. But what truly brings delight and joy to my heart in teaching is seeing the relationships I have formed with each individual student. Even on the most difficult of days, I am blessed through these relationships. As I reflected on Lamentations 3:22-23 this morning, I realized that another attribute of God I can reflect in teaching is mercy. It would be so easy to keep a record of all the times they have been inappropriate and disrespectful to me and pray to simply “get through” the year. But the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Each new day I spend with my students is a day to start again, understanding that they are learning and growing. This does not mean that I will stop dealing with wrong behaviors or give up trying new techniques to manage class. Instead it gives me a new perspective of how to reflect Christ as I strive to invest in these students while they are under my care.