Teaching in the inner city is a strange dichotomy to teaching children in the suburbs. Everything about life is different. The culture, needs, wants, experiences, and desires are completely opposite to that of the children in the suburbs. With that comes moments in the day where you are being “smoothed out” in patience, acceptance, love, and true joy. A moment to practice patience and acceptance came yesterday during my math lesson around 2:30pm. Now, in the school that I teach, every second of teaching time where students are actively engaged and on task is precious. Because there are so many other distractions that students have throughout their day, whether distracting themselves or others, every moment that my children are actually paying attention is like gold!
Picture this: your students are engaged, learning, and participating in your amazing math lesson about drawing diagrams in order to solve word problems for multi-digit subtraction and addition problems. You’re working with a small group at your back table. Enter a student’s mother with a mound of cupcakes, chips, balloons, cups, juice, and a loud “Happy Birthday MK”.
After about 10 minutes of this perceived debacle, I was taken aback by the sheer joy on the faces of my students. In a culture where abortion is so readily available and chosen to end life, here in my classroom there was an open CELEBRATION of life. This child’s mother CHOSE to keep her. She CHOSE to make it known to the whole world that she CHOSE life for this sweet girl. I can’t bring diagrams to solve subtraction and addition problems to heaven with me one day. But, my hope is that through this celebration of life, this student will one day be able to greet me in heaven.
“For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living”. Psalms 116:8-9