Thursday, May 08, 2008

Joyful Teaching

My job has taken some interesting twists recently. I have been teaching mostly grade school and junior high school students. Last semester I started teaching at my company`s highschool. Since my time there I have seen this private highschool develop into a full-fledged school, complete with uniforms and many students. The school is a secondary school aimed at helping students who have been out of school or are unable to attend regular highschool for whatever reason.

Among these are a number of various backrounds. Each student is truly unique and despite difficulty or disability is enjoyable to me. Interacting with them I feel a sense of awe: to these belong the Kingdom of God. Though I doubt many are Christians I truly feel a calling to pray for each one by name and trust that our loving Father in heaven will bring them to Him.

Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

These kids have been teased or bullied out of school or they are handicapped with autism, asperger syndrome, Tourette`s and other forms of mental disorder. To these types of people Jesus became a shepard and teacher.

As I reach out in compassion to these students and teach them I feel a joy I have never felt before. When a student says playfully that "I hate English less because of you Steve (sensei)" or when a autistic student, who hasn`t moved a muscle all class suddenly smiles and tries to speak the phrase "Yes I am.", I am moved.

Though it certainly is not easy, and not always fun, this type of teaching has profound joy. And for this I am very grateful for the opportunity.

I pray that God`s love would be felt through my voice and presence at this school. I pray that His joy would be a fountain that would flow into the lives of my students.
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