Kids at my school greatly look forward to an annual event we call “iMove.” Teachers and volunteers spend hours transforming our gymnasium into a safe but-super fun obstacle course that kids from two years old through first grade can’t wait to explore. As they move/climb/hop/crawl/slide through the course, there are laughs, giggles, shrieks of delight… and inevitably some tears. A bumped knee, a failed attempt, a missed turn—all met with encouragement from coaches and volunteers, parents and classmates along the way. In the end, we hope the kids look back and say, “That was so fun!”
Isn’t the teacher’s life somewhat like the iMove obstacle course? We spend hours moving and transforming classrooms, setting the stage for learning, creating an atmosphere of just the right amount of challenges and fun for our students, then welcome them in when the bell rings and embrace the excitement and the tears along the way. But do you ever just feel like you are barely moving through the day? Or do you face discouragement and sometimes feel like all your movements might not matter? More than movement, your course as a teacher is a detailed one that fits exactly into God’s plan of service for your life, teaching His children. Each part of what you do is imperative and meaningful to those around you—in the short and the long term. Every bit of your movement matters!
You listen and love.
You hear the voices and needs of students, families, and colleagues. You spend time with others even when you are busy because you know how important it is to show that you care. You consider the perspective of someone that disagrees with you, and you seek to show God’s grace when you also disagree. You smile and wave to kids all day long. You laugh with others, and you also sit and cry and hug and pray with someone when it matters.
You learn and share.
You know the learning never stops. You consider changing the methods to meet the needs of your kids because you take the time to get to know how God designed each one of them. You embrace their learning differences and help them stay focused and challenged. You never stop looking for ways to engage your class, and you share what you’ve learned with others. You build a professional learning community far and wide, and you are grateful for the chance to team with others to laugh, share, learn, and grow together. You inspire others.
You lead and serve.
You step up when there is a need in your school. You sacrifice in many ways. You hold it all together when you face adversity, and you do it with a smile on your face, even when you run into that person who just yelled at you. You encourage someone who needs it, and you hug and pray with others too. You pick up the trash on the floor, run the vacuum, and wipe the lunch tables. You lead others by being the servant of all.
You build the kingdom of God.
There’s no doubt about it. God uses His people on Earth to build the kingdom of heaven. There is no greater opportunity that we as Christians have than to share the life-saving message of Jesus Christ with the kids and families we meet each year. You are equipped to be builders and movers. You build leaders. You build people. You build dreamers. You build confidence. You build the kingdom of God, and your movement matters!