It was in the sixth grade that I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and the following year I decided I wanted to be an English teacher (because I loved my English teacher, Mrs. Helen Pombert… and grammar… and writing). No matter where I would go after that, no matter what street my mailbox faces, my place in the world—my identity, if you will—has always been as a teacher.
Granted, English has played a minor role in my teaching experience over the years, as I have merely walked through doors that God opened up to me. I began teaching/tutoring in 1992, and have been at it ever since. Sometimes it was in the form of private tutoring or music lessons, sometimes it was on-the-job training, sometimes coaching softball, teaching in a homeschool support group setting, teaching my own children at home, teaching in a Christian school, or informal teaching on the Internet via my other blog. Most of my formal teaching experience is in upper-level math, Spanish, and music. But the 2006-2007 school year, my final (so far) year teaching in school, along with all the Spanish and music classes, I was also privileged to teach 8th-grade English.
That 8th-grade English class was my favorite, hands down. The students were enthusiastic about learning, engaged in the classroom activities, and happy to let me read to them! 🙂 I read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. If you have never read it, or it’s been a while, be sure to click on my link to get your own copy, or at least check it out of your local library. It’s a wonderful read, no matter how old you are. But I digress. 🙂
Why is my place in the world associated with people rather than a location? I love my dot on the map. I love the dot I came from. But the truth of the matter is that this world is not my home; I’m just passing through.
One day this house I live in is going to disappear. This town will not always be here. Heaven and earth will cease to exist as we know it, and God will create a new heaven and new earth, where there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, and no more sin. But there will be people. That is why my place is among people. I cannot take things to heaven with me, but I can take people. Sure, I teach math, music, English, Spanish, and poetry. Will these things pass away? Yes. They have value, but not eternal value. That is why I also teach about Christ. Every chance I get, I want to tell you about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you know Him—not just about Him, but really know Him—then you will live forever with Him. And you too will say that this world is not your home.
John 8:23-24 And He [Jesus] said unto [the religious leaders], “You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”
Of those who did believe on Him…
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.