The enticement of teaching came to me at a young age. As the oldest and only daughter of a large family, I was drawn to leading others. My grandmother, a public educator for 36 years, would take us to her elementary school classroom, and just the smells would ignite me – chalk and wooden desks and the sawdust stuff you toss when someone throws up. All of it would ignite me.
You would think that the calling of a teacher at an early age would have made me the model student. I was not. My teachers hated me. I talked too much for one thing. And my teachers said I had a smart mouth. I thought at the time that a smart mouth was a good thing. Still do, really. Apparently I was a distraction. I think I was just bored.
In addition to knowing since childhood what I would do, I also knew who would guide me - my heavenly Father. My childhood memories are set in the concrete of the fourth pew on the right-hand side in the modest church building in Abilene, Texas. I can’t name most of my teachers from school – only the really bad ones that I pledged never to be like – but I vividly remember the names of my pastors, the men who stood at the pulpit and spoke of hope and truth every Sunday morning. They planted seeds.
Upon receiving a B.S. in Education from Abilene Christian University, my dad and I packed all of my things in a twenty-foot horse trailer and drove northwest to my forever home – Lubbock, Texas. I didn’t know a soul. My dad only gave me one piece of advice, “Try the church around the corner. My friend Bill preaches there.” And then he drove off, apparently quite confident that I would be just fine. He was right. I tried the church the following Sunday and have never left. Since 2014 I have served as the worship host for our contemporary service. It is the joy of my week.
I started teaching at the seasoned age of 22. My students were seniors taking my Speech course as an alternative to fourth year English. No doubt I learned more than they that first year.
In the nineteen years that followed, I taught debate, public speaking, PSAT Prep, English I, English II, seventh grade English, Communication Applications, and Academic Decathlon.
Teaching is my drug. Interacting with kids and provoking interest in an otherwise mundane setting ignites me. It empowers me. I was born to teach.
And so when God called me to a sabbatical, a break from my purpose in life, I felt loss. But also great joy in a new calling. I will go wherever God leads me. Always. I am humbled by the way God called me to teach and I am now humbled by the calling to encourage other teachers to keep the faith. So here I am - with the power of Christ and whole lot of faith, I work to reignite the hope, the passion, and the mission of Christ in the classroom.
"Oh I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to You... do not forsake me, for if I should ever be on my own, I would easily wreck it all." - Martin Luther