I had my first day of student teaching today. It was … emotionally confusing. I want them to be kind to each other and love each other. My job is simply to teach Spanish, of course, but to really serve the kids I need to do more than that. I need to set high expectations for them and demand much of them and point them toward Christ.
It grieved me to see the kids be mean to each other and disrespectful toward their teacher. It maddened me that the teacher did not control the class better and insist that the kids be more responsible and respectful. I worry that I’m fighting a losing battle by trying to instill self-control & Christian love in 50-minutes a day for 1 semester. In fact, I am fighting a losing battle because only Christ can do those things. Those things are fruits of the Spirit when one is in Christ.
I guess what I can do is to set high standards for the students and enforce them. I can give of my time and always treat them kindly and respectfully. I can “give an answer” if any one asks me.
These kids are smart! And many of them are sweet and cooperative. But many are also cynical beyond their years, immersed in worldly media and, in many cases, struggling with family situations that are tragic, damaging and way outside my ken. So, more than what I can do, what I must do — by God’s grace — is be patient and gracious with them, love them while expecting much from them and work hard to help them meet those expectations.