“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

In a mere six months of teaching, I have realized this: When you learn from the great Teacher on a daily basis, and you surrender your own plans, ideas, or ways of teaching to Him, there is little stress associated with the “job”.

From day one, I prayed, “God, if you want me to do this, please give me what I need each day. Show me how to be a teacher, because I don’t feel like I can do it.”

I have worked with students in a number of capacities for years of my life. I studied to be a teacher, a mentor, a psychologist, a coach. People I hardly know have said, “You’ll make a great teacher!” But I never believed it. I still don’t.

Teaching has not been a job for me. It has been a learning experience, one which has brought me even closer in my relationship with the Lord. Every day, He shows me how to teach. Yes, I plan for lessons, I grade homework, and sometimes I teach-talk in my sleep, however this is an entirely different experience. At least once a day, God speaks to me and through me in my classroom. He also speaks very clearly to me through my students.

One day during Bible class, I made the passionate comment to my students that, “I love teaching, and I love all of you!” One of my students raised her hand and said, “Mrs. Goodsell, you love teaching because you know how much Jesus loves you.”

My students are very deep thinkers. Ever since the beginning of the year, we have had deep discussions about life, faith, God, and how he loves us. It’s incredible what that alone does for classroom culture, cohesiveness, and unity. To have these types of conversations with students so young, but so passionate about learning about Him is such a blessing.

My student was right. Teaching has allowed me to share my faith every day. Because I feel and see how much God loves me, I want to share that with others. It has made me experience a deeper joy in the Lord because of how He works in my classroom, in my students, and in my life. I have shared some of the wonderful things that God has done in my life, and I have encouraged my students to share about their own experiences. As of yesterday, I have heard each student in my class share a rather in-depth story of how God has changed their life. That was the most incredible thing I have seen in my short time of teaching.

Has my first half year of teaching been an immense amount of work? Yes. Has it been overwhelming? At times. Has it been a deep stress, burden, or cause of worry? Not once. Sometimes I hesitate talking to other adults or even other teachers about my first year of teaching experience. It seems atypical. It doesn’t quite fit the norm for a first year teaching experience. Keeping one’s “head above water” or “just trying to survive” or “doing everything wrong the first time around” are so many of the normal first year teaching experiences. My atypical experience is nothing of my own doing. It is simply the Lord having control of my life. The days that I begin to take even a slight amount of control are the days where things don’t go smoothly, the days where I find frustration creeping in, or stress that weighs me down. Sometimes other adults wonder how my experience seems so simple. Sometimes me saying, “Jesus” doesn’t cut it for people who don’t understand the joy of the Lord. Really, it is that simple. When you fully surrender, God does incredible, unexplainable things.

Is this to say teaching will always be easy? Not necessarily. For now, this is where God has me. Will I be a teacher forever? I don’t know. He gives me exactly what I need each day, and sometimes a little more. When he is the priority in my classroom, everything else including lessons, teaching, homework, and communication fall exactly into place.

Students come into the classroom bubbly, happy, and sometimes jumping around. Many days, I do too (minus the jumping). Living life and learning with these little adults is an absolute blast. Someday, I do hope to be a great teacher, however it will not be “me”. God can help shape me into a better teacher each day, and any success I see from it all is His doing.

Thankful to be a daughter of the Great Teacher.

“So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” John 7:16