My niece wants to be a teacher like her mother and I. The difference is that she knows she would like to be a teacher now. Her mother and I both had other careers, aspirations, and experiences prior to teaching. I think both us still have dreams that go beyond teaching. But, my niece is pretty determined that this is what she wants to do, so today, she shadowed me. She watched me in my class. Now, I am very, very frank and candid with my older nephews and niece, I keep it real, so I did not sugarcoat anything that I did in class today. There was no show; it was all real.
I needed to confront my students on some behaviors that were displeasing to me. Normally, this would not occur in front of an audience, but it had to be done now because it is the middle of the last quarter and there is only a short amount of time to correct bad behavior. So, after my correcting yesterday, I knew that I had to approach the issue with sensitivity and grace. You know the saying, “You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar?” Well, I really don’t know why anyone wants to catch flies, but that’s not the point. The point is that in this particular moment, the attention of my students was the fly. I could have laid into them; I had plenty of ammunition. Instead, I took a soft, but stern approach. And, although, they didn’t say much to me, word travelled back around that my approach was appreciated.
Time will tell if my audience was indeed moved to action, but when I asked my niece what she learned. She replied, “That your kids need to do their work,” Then, I asked her for her honest opinion on how I handled the situation and she said I handled it well. That meant more to me than any reaction from my students. As a Christian, it is not always easy to find the balance between nice and mean. I think I’ve written about it several times in the last couple of weeks because it is an area I am working on personally. My desire is for others to see Christ in me, but that does not mean that I am to be disrespected because I show grace and mercy.
This entire situation was a great lesson in how we treat God. He gives us opportunity after opportunity to follow His Will, and yet, many times, we disrespect Him and take His kindness for granted. So, I understand why, in the Old Testament, God took people out in those situations because initially that’s how I felt. But, I am so glad that He sent Jesus and sees us through Jesus’ eyes, with grace and mercy. I hope I get the results I desire, but I will not be a salty light or spread venomous vinegar around to get my “flies.” I will listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and behave accordingly. Ms. EV