Many times, when people hear me explaining something, they say, “Wow, Eli. You are really teacher-material. You explained that so clearly and so well!”
While I am flattered and thankful for those kind words, I know every day as I walk into my classes that this is not true. Explaining something thoroughly to someone who wants something to be explained is one thing. Going into a classroom full of 10th to 12th graders, some of whom have no interest in Spanish at all, others who are studying this in a purely academic (a.k.a. like a zombie) way, others who are actually excited about the material but are slowed down by the rest of the class, some of whom just come to receive some sort of attention, is a whole different story. It requires a whole lot more of me than just having the “gift” of explaining things clearly.
To be what I would consider ‘teacher-material’, I need to be filled with God’s love every day in order to serve them. Patience to answer the same question a million times, perseverance in explaining to my students that I want us to make a positive learning environment together by asking questions, wisdom to make valuable and meaningful lesson plans, discernment in classroom management, etc.
Not only do I need God’s love to serve them, but I need it for myself every day. You see, my most persistent struggle is self-esteem. Too many times I want to put focus on how much of an inexperienced teacher I am, on not having prepared the best curriculum ever, on not having prepared meaningful learning, the list goes on. Because I am particularly insecure about myself and fearful about making mistakes, I am glad God has called me here and now. He has been revealing Himself to me in too many ways to count.
For example, when I think of how inadequate I am, I tend to go to my pity-party, where everything starts with “Woe, me…” But God firmly convicts me that this is no longer a thought pattern I am to go to. No more excuses! Instead, more of “I can’t, but it is no longer I but Christ. Have it Your way.” And the more this happens, the more freedom I experience: freedom in making mistakes, freedom in being vulnerable (and not getting scarred because even if I get hurt, I take my burdens to Abba), freedom in enjoying Abba’s delight in me. Yes, for some reason, I forget that key point: God delights in me. His joy is my strength. When I feel His pleasure, I can be most creative, bold, and loving.
Our 2nd semester of school is coming up soon. I will meet my lovely students again. Because He has proven Himself so faithful and loving each step of the way, my only prayer is this: Abba, may Your will be done ❤