Saturday, May 21, 2011

Notes from Students

This week we said goodbye to our 8th graders. I usually get a note or card from a few students and I put them in my folder full of memories and thank yous. I got one this year that really went over the top. It was from an 8th grade boy who has really come a long way not only as a musician and student but a person as well.

I began teaching him in 4th grade and he didn't really like music class. He seemed to always be getting into trouble. He decided to join band in 5th grade and really liked it. He continued in 6th and 7th grade even when some of his friends decided to quit and do other things like sports or art. This year he showed leadership and maturity that I have not seen from 8th graders at my school in a long time. If the band was being dis-respectful or loud during a rehearsal, he would say something and they would listen. He also did this at lunch and other times I would see him around the school.

He brought me a hand written letter on Tuesday saying his goodbyes and thanks. This was more than the usual "Thanks Mrs. Davis for helping me learn music or my instrument." This was a heart-felt thank you for helping him become who he was and how I have helped him grow into what he wants to be. He also mentioned how he doesn't know how fun band will be without me next year. He told me I made band fun and enjoyable. He came by 3 separate time on Friday to give me a hug and tell me thank you! Wow... I cant believe I made such an impact on him!

This note really hit me hard. I always take time to reflect each year but I feel I will be doing alot more reflecting this year. I feel that I have actually made a difference in this kids life and helped him become who he wants to be. Isn't that what we are called to do as teachers? I feel like I have made a difference. Wow... it is a GREAT feeling.

Thank you young 8th grade boy for helping me become who I want to be. I wish you luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Songs of Faith: Part 1- When it looks like you've lost it all...

My family and I have been going through some really rough times and I am brought to my knees on a daily basis and all I can think about are songs of praise and promise.

In October of 2009, Chris was laid off from his job at Velocity Express in OKC. This was a shipping and receiving company and it required him to work long and HARD. Our little precious Natalie had just been born in August so we were scared yet somehow happy at the same time. Since then Chris has worked about 4 months for the US Census and that is all. His unemployment benefits has elapsed and we are working off just my teaching salary. This makes for some pretty small meals and very little entertainment.

In December of this year, Chris and I had reached near rock bottom and we prayed for God's guidance. Through prayer, God guided us to the thought of Chris working to become a teacher. Since that cold December evening, Chris has completed his "Alternative Certification" classes and passed 3 separate content tests to become a teacher. This entire spring has seemed like a never ending battle of what to do next. He began by taking a Math 4-8 test and then he extended his chances of getting a job by taking the generalist 4-8 test. Finally after a seminar given by his "Alternative Certification" company, he discovered he really should be teaching High School math so he then took 2-4 weeks to study for that test and took it. He passed with 296/300!! I was so impressed yet not at all surprised. He is a true genius!

Well... here we sit now without a job offer for him and he has been constantly going to interviews. This past month especially has been really hard on both of us and I am constantly reminded "Jesus will still be there". This song was released by Point of Grace in the mid 90s and was brought to my mind on more than one occasion this week. The words are so simple and yet so true.

Things Change, plans fail
You look for love on a grander scale
Storms rise, hopes fade
And you place your bets on another day
When the going get tough
When the ride's too rough
When you're just not sure enough

Jesus will still be there
His love will never change
Sure as the steady rain
Jesus will still be there
When no one else is true
He'll still be loving you
When it looks like you've lost it all
And you haven't got a prayer
Jesus will still be there

This is the song I will sing each and every night.
Jesus will still be there!

Thank you Lord for your continued blessings!