I don't know that I realized I was looking for a place to settle or that I had, in fact, been wandering aimlessly through life; however, when I began my career with The Master's School back in August, within a week, I knew I had found a place to call home. The first thing that proved this to me was the faculty. They all love God and all love each other, including me. I have experienced this in the family and church arenas but never at a job. There was always someone who had a chip, or even a boulder, on his shoulder, someone for whom life was a miserable chore. All the teachers and staff at TMS have a very different, very loving, optimistic attitude. Maybe it's that we all have Jesus in common; maybe there's more to it than that.
I even felt this sense of belonging during inservice training when we gathered with several other area Christian schools for three days of how-to and what-has-worked-before. Lunch with fellow Christians who were also fellow educators was both encouraging and challenging. We talked hard issues about discipline, world history, and being a first-year teacher. One lady was starting a creative writing curriculum from scratch and asked my advice. At first, I was humbled; then, as she began asking questions and taking notes, I was emboldened. I offered what I remembered from my college courses and my own writing experiences with a growing enjoyment for the conversation itself. I pray her student writers are learning and enjoying the process as she teaches them. God has given me talents for which others are finding a use. I absolutely love being a tool in the hand of the Master Craftsman! It's so thrilling!
The students at The Master's School are also a source of joy for me. I love the moment when their eyes brighten with an unspoken "Oh, I get it!" I also love seeing them struggle with the more difficult material, knowing that growth is happening. I love reading and listening to the poetry my seventh graders have been writing, making themselves vulnerable as they share bits of their souls with me and the class. They play silly games during recess and lunch and do their best to involve me. I do my best to feign disinterest and not rush to join them; I am, after all, a professional. However, their antics make me smile and remember what it was like to be a child. When the younger kids arrive in the morning, it does my heart good to see them run wildly toward their classrooms across the courtyard, backpacks and hair curls bouncing the whole way. There is an excitement here for learning and community the likes of which I've not seen before. And it's every day!
I could keep going, I'm sure, but my students will be bouncing into the room in about five minutes. I'll sum up my love for my new career with this: I have come home.
Thank you, Jesus! This adventure you've got me on is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see what's next.