Friday, September 11, 2015

The Day They said I'm Sorry

It was a Friday afternoon, and my P3 (3rd grade) class was restless. Actually they were more than restless. Downright unruly is more like it. My normally beautifully behaved, obedient, attentive 9-12 year olds were acting much more like my usually challenging 6-7 year olds. I did my best to try to teach for even that short 30 minute period, but left feeling like that day was total bust.

The weekend sped past with an abundance of work and play as usual, and Monday morning found me having forgotten all the woes of Friday’s difficulties. Walking into my P3 classroom, I set my things down, and listened as my children chanted their ritual greeting:

You are welcome, Teecha Melanie. Dis is P3 class. Ouwa school motto is Christ’s ambassadahs tomoooorow.
Smiling, I sat down at my desk and briefly collected my thoughts for the lesson. Before I could speak a word, I saw one of my girls approaching my desk. I thought she would just asked to go to the bathroom, but I was surprised to hear an apology coming from her lips.
Teecha Melanie, I’m sorry for over disturbing you and making so much noise. Can you forgive me?
Confused, I thanked her for her apology and assured her that I have forgiven her (though still not sure what I was forgiving at this point) and love her very much.

She had no sooner turned to leave, then the next student was at my desk, also apologizing and asking for my forgiveness. Understanding dawned on me, and I remembered all the frustration of Friday. Apparently they had also been observant of my feelings and decided themselves what they should do.

One by one, each and every one of my students came, apologized for their actions and also asked for my forgiveness. To this day, I’m not sure how I managed to restrain my tears at I watched face after face humbly admit their wrong and ask for forgiveness. It was one of the most beautiful days ever.

For so many months I have taught them over and over again the importance of humbly apologizing and asking forgiveness. I have had to ask their forgiveness myself more than once, and had to enforce apologies from a number of my students over this year. I have so often wondered what the result of my teaching will be, and whether it will really have an impact on the hearts of my kids. Constantly, I beg Jesus to settle these truths deep in their hearts, for as many words as I speak, only Jesus can bring the change of heart that is so necessary. And that day, I saw a glimpse of what Jesus has been teaching them.

How I treasure those moments. Through these past few difficult weeks, I can still look back on the moments of victory and joy Jesus has brought and remember that He is at work. I am only His tool and vessel in the lives of these kids for now, but He is the One bringing the understanding, conviction, and change in their hearts. His work will never fail, and He will accomplish everything He has promised. How thankful I am to get to see for myself the evidence of that work!

Some of my P3 students in one of their more
studious moments :)