January 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
I teach at a little school tucked away into the ribbons of hills in central Texas. The school isn’t particularly lovely–a hodepodge of buildings surrounded by various shades of brown field, signs of lack of rain. But the view as I drive up each day is breathtaking, and its not just the trees silhouetted against the never-ending Texas sky. It’s the faces that turn and smile, hands that wave excitedly to see me driving up, the voices I’ve come to recognize all calling me “Miss Powell.” It’s my classroom, which is full of lumpy model volcanoes that mean nothing to you. It’s the other teachers, who hug me and ask me how everything is going and tell me how much the kids love me until I feel embarrassed and say something dumb like, “Well, good.” But I’m smiling and can’t stop, because I love holding the crying 8th-grade girl in the hallway, I love my precious little tangle-haired 5th grader tromping into class bearing a gift of homemade strawberry jam, I love making a class full of 11th graders laugh. I love smiling at them in the hall and seeing their faces light up. I love hearing that a class is excited I’m going to be their sub. I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve all this favor. But I revel in it.
And when I get in my car to go home, I look forward to stopping at the grocery store and seeing all the people I know that work there, talking to them about the random groceries I’m buying: dried mango, eggs, herbal tea, frozen peas. I get back to my little three-room duplex, pull into my carport, and unload groceries into my own little cabinet. I sit down at my table, with my dying succulent plant next to my laptop, and open my folder full of papers to grade. I pull out my red pen–power!–and begin marking.
And I wonder, How did I get here? Thank You, thank You, thank You, Jesus.