This week is Spring Break and I've already had a chance to regroup a little. I really enjoyed hanging out with this week's City Lights group at my church to study the passage in Isaiah 58. This is one of the passages that I've studied that the Lord has used to call me to the work I'm doing, that of teaching in the context of the Kingdom values described here. True worship being loosening the chains of injustice, freeing captives as seen in this passage. I think of other passages that tell what it looks like to Act Justly (Micah 6:8); to care for the orphan and the refugee among you. I haven't yet seen the movie Waiting for Superman. But am looking forward to when it comes up on my netflix queue.
Giving students a great education when they are otherwise caught in an unjust education system in which the schools are failing is a great passion of mine. Giving students who are among marginilzed populations a great education when they're otherwise caught in an unjust education system burns within me even more.
It was really good to be reminded Monday night why it is I do what I do ... why I diferentiate instruction to meet a wide variety of students' needs. Why I labor to shepherd my students in reconciliation and relating well to one another over their many differences: ethnic, economic, academic, and cultural.
It made me smile today ... I received a phone call from two of my students who were obviously spending time together over Spring Break. They actually called twice to leave me messages. The first time went something like this ... "Hello, Ms. Balek .... This is __________ and ____________ calling to see what you're doing. When you get this message will you call me back and I'm not playing. Call me back soon. We're just trying to talk to you. Bye."
Second time around they used my first name -- there's going to be trouble when we get back ;) --
They wanted to know all of the kids in the class' phone numbers. Crazy girls miss the community that we have in our classroom. This is just a testimony to what God is doing --- that these two beautiful children would want to talk to not only the other African American children over break but also the white children and the Burmese child. They listed out everyone's names, asking about how to get ahold of the rest of the class. I'm not giving first graders all those numbers and I'm not so sure how I feel about my students calling me but their hearts were good. This is really good stuff!