In my classroom in the evening, there are two world maps. It is so fitting the maps are in my classroom where I teach English for people from diverse countries. I asked my student from Vietnam to take this picture for me last night.
For me it represents what my life is about, which is to share the love of Jesus with refugees and immigrants from all over the world. I teach adults, but I am also aware of the struggles their children face.
In the mornings, I teach English for moms from other countries in the elementary school where their children go. I interact with children in the hallway. It has been my practice to try to bless them in various ways in the mornings. Sadly, they are aware of the harmful things being said in our public discourse. That is a huge motivation for me to speak words of affirmation to them or just to joke a little with them.
Monday morning I saw two sisters from Guatemala as we were entering the school. I greeted them in Spanish as I always do. One of them took my hand to walk into the school together. I greet the Hispanic children in Spanish because I want them to feel good about their language and culture. Sometimes I tease them in Spanish about how I think they want a lot of homework. I always wish them a good day in school in Spanish.
Monday morning I was talking with one of the 5th grade teachers outside her classroom as she was watching her students put on their coats to go outside for recess. A boy in her class came up and bowed to me, pointed at his teacher and said, “She is a great teacher.” Then he looked at me and said, “You are a great teacher.” He came here a few months ago as a refugee from Syria. I asked him his name and where he was from and then I greeted him in Arabic. He was surprised.
My interactions with the children in the school always reminds me of when Jesus blessed the children in Matthew 19:
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.”
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there”.
Children are important to Jesus. Children need affirmation, blessings, and encouragement. It concerns me that at an age that the only things they should be concerned about are spelling quizzes, recess, and hoping for snow days, the children I see every morning are exposed negativity in our culture. They hear it when the news is on.They hear comments out in public. Children pick up on a lot more than we realize.
So I will continue with my practice of joking with them. speaking blessings to them, and giving high fives in the hallway. All children all precious to Jesus and all children are a blessing.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.