As an immature, proud, and inexperienced 20 year old, I applied to teach at Tidings of Peace Christian School. The administrator, who also happened to be my father, gladly accepted my willingness to serve as a teacher’s aide. The board, who was either too blind or too desperate, agreed to hire me.
For anyone with a similar title, you may be able to relate to the kinds of jobs that were included in my unwritten job description. A little maintenance, a few science experiments, a bunch of breaks. As the year progressed a few other titles and a lot more work began to fill my plate, such as assistant principal, development director, and IT coordinator. When I began, I was unaware of all the support work needed to make a small school function, but I learned quickly that there is a lot.
The volume of work bestowed on me at a very young age had the negative effect of making me feel indispensable. The positive effect was the passion I received for teaching and the need I felt to increase my learning. I applied for Summer Term at Faith Builders and too eagerly applied for a 12-credit course load. This was a very exciting time, but when my instructors attempted to convince me to invest two years in the Teacher Apprenticeship Program, I told them I was indispensable at my school and couldn’t afford to leave.
After two more years at school, I was convinced that my development as a person was more important than all the odd jobs I was completing at the school. In faith, I applied for the two-year program and was graciously accepted as well as awarded the TAP scholarship. Those two years were worth all the investment others made in my life.
Upon my return, I was shocked to discover that the school ran well without me! Of course, the staff were delighted to have me back, but I wasn’t as indispensable as I had previously so foolishly assumed. I had a renewed vision to pour into the lives of my students with a much clearer picture of my own unworthiness and my amazing pricelessness in the sight of God.
- Make long term plans for your personal development. Don’t be scared of higher education.
- Research one way you can develop and grow during the summer. You might consider Faith Builder’s five-week Summer Term.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a solitude day and reflect on who you are in Christ.
CONTRIBUTOR: Austin Shenk