June 27, 2013

Today...

Today was filled with many hugs, 'I'll miss you's' and thank you's. Today was awards, board games, art contests, singing, cake eating and butterfly hunting. Today was hot sun, clear blue sky and fast footprints in sandy playgrounds.

Today was the last day of school. Last days make my heart full. Especially when sitting next to a mountain of handmade cards and letters like this:


So I chuckle and sigh contented, knowing affirming words have not fallen on deaf ears. I can rest easy now, knowing that as students leave my door, they leave feeling loved and valued.

Sometimes you get to see the impact of pouring your heart out every. single. day. And when that happens, it can fill you up and take your breath away. These kids, these kids that are not mine, and yet somehow they are. I read a poem the other day and wanted to share it in honour of the teachers I know, the teachers I have had, and my colleagues, my friends.



I am a Teacher

I was born the first moment that a question leaped from the mouth 
of a child.

I have been many people in many places.

I am Socrates exciting the youth of Athens to discover new ideas 
through the use of questions.

I am Anne Sullivan tapping out the secrets of the universe
into the outstretched hand of Helen Keller.

I am Aesop and Hans Christian Andersen revealing truth
through countless stories.

I am Marva Collins fighting for every child's right to an education.

The names of those who have practiced my profession ring like a hall
of fame for humanity...Booker T. Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Buscaglia, Moses and Jesus.

I am also those whose names and faces have long been forgotten
but whose lessons and character will always be remembered in the accomplishments of their students.

I have wept for joy at the weddings of former students, laughed with
glee at the birth of their children and stood with head bowed in grief and confusion by graves dug too soon for bodies far too young.

Throughout the course of a day I have been called upon to be an
actor, friend, nurse and doctor, coach, finder of lost articles, money lender, taxi driver, psychologist, substitute parent, salesman, politician and a keeper of the faith.

Despite the maps, charts, formulas, verbs, stories and books, I have
really had nothing to teach, for my students really have only themselves to learn, and I know it takes the whole world to tell you who you are.

I am a paradox. I speak loudest when I listen the most. My greatest
gifts are in what I am willing to appreciatively receive from my students.

Material wealth is not one of my goals, but I am a full-time treasure
seeker in my quest for new opportunities for my students to use their talents and in my constant search for those talents that sometimes lie buried in self-defeat.

I am the most fortunate of all who labor.

A doctor is allowed to usher life into the world in one magic moment.
I am allowed to see that life is reborn each day with new questions, ideas and friendships.

An architect knows that if he builds with care, his structure may stand
for centuries. A teacher knows that if he builds with love and truth, what he builds will last forever.

I am a warrior, daily doing battle against peer pressure, negativity,
fear, conformity, prejudice, ignorance and apathy: But I have great allies: Intelligence, Curiosity, Parental Support, Individuality, Creativity, Faith, Love and Laughter all rush to my banner with indomitable support.

And who do I have to thank for this wonderful life I am so fortunate
to experience, but you the public, the parents. For you have done me the great honor to entrust to me your greatest contribution to eternity, your children.

And so I have a past that is rich in memories. I have a present
that is challenging, adventurous and fun because I am allowed to spend my days with the future.
 
I am a teacher...and I thank God for it every day.

John W. Schlatter



June 18, 2013

Your Love

Ah June, month of changes; job changes, school changes, home changes. You have me holding tight to this truth, that You oh God hold all things in your hands, that one thing is constant, one thing remains, and it's your love.


"Higher than the mountains that I face. Stronger than the power of the grave. Constant in the trial and in the change. This one thing remains."

"Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me."


"On and on and on and on it goes. It overwhelms and satisfies my soul. And I never, ever have to be afraid. For this one thing remains."

"Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me."


"In death, in life, I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love. My debt is paid, there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love."

"Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me."

{song lyrics from 'One Thing Remains' by Jesus Culture}


Whatever your season today friend, may you find comfort in the unchanging, constant rock that is the love of God. I'm holding tightly, as we begin the roller-coaster of listing our re-build house, finding somewhere to live this summer, finding a home to purchase, and looking at some exciting opportunities for the fall involving schooling (more on that to come).


"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me and my place of safety." Psalm 18:2 NLT