As a Single Mom & a Teacher I’ll never forget when my son, Chris, was in the 4th grade. Right after the tardy bell he came to my classroom all stressed out! In the regular flurry to get 3 kids to class and prepare to teach, his ‘folder’ had not received the daily parent signature his teacher required of all the students if they didn’t want to walk ‘laps’ at recess! Even more, Chris was the kind of kid, like most are, who dreaded his teacher’s disapproval! He had asked to go to the restroom and came to my room for his folder.
I felt awful because I was the one who didn’t sign and what’s more the folder ended up in my teacher’s bag! I told him I would explain and walk him back to class and arranged for my class. We walked down the stairs and at the bottom of the stairs right by the door to his classroom, he stopped and told me that his teacher still would get ‘mad’! I will never forget what he did next. He sat down on the stairs and looked up to heaven and said, “Jesus, please come back now so I don’t have to go back in the classroom!”
I wanted to cry! I hugged him and reassured him that it would be okay. I know he and I survived that and I don’t fully remember what happened although I’m sure he does! Both of my boys survived 4th grade in her room. She was an excellent teacher in spite of her strict legalistic approach to classroom management. It was difficult to balance being ‘co-worker’ and ‘parent of student’ and we had our unfortunate clashes due to the difference in our personality. However, we learned in that ‘sandpaper’ experience and grew as sisters-in-Christ.
Never-the-LESS, this incident made me more sensitive to both my students & their parents as this daily ‘parent signature’ routine was school-wide. As a result of this experience, my perspective as a teacher on classroom management and expectations changed; as well as a parent! I evaluated the goals of routines and responsibilities given to my students and my children too.
I’m thankful that my Lord Jesus balances His Expectations & Consequences with Mercy & Grace.