Friday, August 16, 2013


I mentioned recently that I got a promotion. The autism program in which I have worked for the last six years is expanding and has opened a brand new classroom. I am so excited to launch this new K-1 class, although I have to admit that building a special education class from the ground up has been nothing short of exhausting.

It seems as though we have met nearly every barrier possible, and things that should have taken a day to get done are taking weeks. From furnishing the room and buying curriculum that fits in the budget to attempting to build a positive relationship at our new school site, it seems as though it has mostly been an uphill battle.

I have tried to keep a positive attitude because I am doing what I love, and I see God's hand all over the place: in the timing of this new position, in the all-new staff team that has come together and seems to fit wonderfully, and of course in the sweet faces of the little ones we serve.

But, in all honesty, in my own mind as well as in a few emails written out of frustration, I've had a bad attitude. Just today I came home steaming that we still don't have internet hooked up in our room, and I still don't have a printer and computer that work together, and I still don't have a code to use the copier. I find it easy to complain about having to clean out all the unneeded items that were left behind by the last people to use the room, or the bugs in the carpet, or the bathroom not being cleaned to my standards.

Then today a friend from Zimbabwe tagged me in this photo on facebook.

This is a temporary school that we built two years ago. Although the village prays it will someday be rebuilt into a permanent structure, I can guarantee you that they are not complaining about the internet connection or printers, the bugs in the carpet, or the dirty bathroom.

Although I want the best for my students and will always advocate and fight for them in order to get them the support and respect that they need and deserve, I so easily forget how much we have to be thankful for.

As I teach this year, using the tools that may seem limited compared to other classrooms in the U.S., I will remember the precious children meeting in makeshift buildings and under trees, the siblings who take turns attending school because they share one pair of shoes, and the students who passionately practice writing their letters with a stick in the dirt. I pray that they will have teachers who love teaching as much as they love learning. I hope they will have encouragers and supporters to fight for them and to celebrate their victories. I pray for them the very best.


Joyful said...


JD said...

Oh Rebecca..... <3 My heart has been squeezed...