Last week my students took their final exams while I was at home trying to recover from the threefold onslaught of malaria, an upper respiratory infection, and an ear infection. I was really bummed not to be with them, and very eager to see them when I came back to work on Monday.
However, when I asked my P4 students how exams went, a couple students were quick to pipe up that some of their classmates had ‘copied’ (or cheated) on their exams. My heart fell with the prospect of disciplining them, and I talked very seriously with them for a while. Then I told them they had one day to come and report themselves to me before I started investigating myself to find out who it was. The following day, 3 of my students admitted to me what they had done. I was glad they had the courage to report themselves, though I realize the fear of their classmates reporting them probably had something to do with it too! I disciplined them accordingly and moved on with my lesson.
At the end as the kids were leaving for the day, I was surprised by one of the guilty girls approaching me privately. She’s one of the ones I’ve been worried about for a while since she tends to have a rather hard attitude, and does not usually respond to either correction or even affection. I’ve been praying for her for at least 2 years now, that Jesus would soften her heart and let His changing love settle deep.
So that day, I was definitely taken aback as she very humbly came and softly said, “Teacher Melanie, I’m very sorry I copied on your test. I would really like you to forgive me.” Then, and even now tears still spring into my eyes as I remember her posture and request. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and said, “Of course I forgive you. I love you very very much.” She looked up into my eyes, smiled, and said, “I love you too.”
HALLELUJAH!!! PRAISE JESUS!!! He is so good! He hears and answers and works miracles in the hearts of His children!
I have spent so much time this term teaching my children about forgiveness. It is not a common thing here to ask someone to forgive you, and I have taught, modeled, and helped my children to do it. But this is the first time I have witnessed one of my kids has spontaneously reach out to someone they have wronged for forgiveness. To see Jesus’s truths come to life in my kids is the single greatest joy I have ever had as a teacher. I am so grateful that I get to see Him working in them!