I had a few “moments” this year as a stay-at-home dad! I’ve loved my time with the kids but missed the ministry moments of the classroom and the last week of school.
I would always write notes of encouragement to my students, reminding them how much they had grown throughout the year and that I believed in them and knew they would be difference makers in this world!
I never wanted to be one who began the “countdown!” That decision came in a very sobering moment of being an educator.
Several years ago I had a student who moved away in the middle of the year and it crushed me! He had huge struggles the previous couple of years and when he made it to my 5th grade class, I knew it was a God appointed opportunity! This was the child who would cause “emergency field trips” for the other students while he literally destroyed the classroom. Anger was just one of the issues he struggled with but it was the dominant issue that affected him and others in a classroom environment. It was the one issue I knew I could help him with the most.
I rested on my 180 days we would have together. Together we had learned about his struggles and “triggers” that would set him off. I had helped him learn to manage his anger and use it in a positive way. He had also learned to recognize when it was overtaking him and how to diffuse it and return to a place of calmness. It was truly remarkable! We had made great gains with him when, on about day 85, his mom checked him out and informed me they were moving away. My stomach felt tied into knots in an instant. My heart sunk and I felt as if I should beg her not to move away because his newfound coping skills were still developing and needed to become cemented into his very being. But this is how life works. Things you believe are a “given,” are merely a vapor within this vapor of time.
I struggled with the reality that all the progress we had made was coming to a halt and the noticeably new student he had become was being stopped short before reaching his true potential. His anger management was bing cut short and would possibly unravel. I sat in my classroom after school that day and wept! I cried out, “I was supposed to have 180 days to make a difference. 180 days to help one more student become what God had created them for; to be the best possible person they could possibly become.”
One of the greatest life-lessons I learned came that year, on that day, in that moment has a teacher.
Each day has to be “that” day!
That day to lead!
That day to encourage!
That day to make a difference!
Not tomorrow, but today!
Tomorrow’s opportunities may never come. Today is all we have!
As a teacher, day one hundred and eighty is just as important as day one! As a husband, father, son, brother….today is the most important day. Tomorrow may never come.