Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teacher Talk: Why I teach?

First day of school picture!
I'm Lauren.
I'm not your average teacher.

I live in Costa Rica, I'm not a perfect teacher blogger, this is just my first year teaching, and it happens to be in a country where I hardly even speak the language.

Today, I'm linking up with my friend Jamie (& Nicole)'s new, monthly, Teacher Talk!

Why I teach?

That's a loaded question.

I didn't really pick teaching, I feel like it sort of just picked me, freshman year of college, when I was trying to figure out what I was being called to do...and I fell in love with it along the way.

Since then, it has been my dream to go abroad and teach English.
So when God handed me this opportunity, even though it came with a lot of sacrifice- I had to take it. 

I guess it's for the moments when my students cheer because it’s reading time. For the moments when my students are so engaged, they forget to ask how much longer it is until lunchtime. I put up with snotty noses and germ kids all day, because I love hugs and wide-eyed smiles. It's for the moment when a parent tells me that their kid declared at home that I was someone that "genuinely loved" loved them.

It's for the moments when we drop everything, forget the lesson, and confront a situation in the classroom through discussion and sharing of ideas. It's for moments like this:

It was a Friday afternoon. Friday afternoons are my enemy that I am constantly combatting. There is just this bug that gets under the kid’s skin and doesn’t let them sit still for more than a minute. This particular Friday, nobody was paying attention. I clapped a few times, did a few “macaroni and cheese”-“everybody freeze”s. But I had to face it; the afternoon had gotten the better of me this time.

Finally, one of the sweeter, more respectful students called out to the class- “Hey guys, be respectful! Teacher Lauren worked really hard on planning this lesson for us.”

In a tearful tone, she continued, “I have seen her working really hard. And I know what it’s like to work on something really hard and then have no one pay attention. It doesn’t feel good.”

Cue the tears from me! I was so touched by her words that I could only just sit there a moment and soak in all the love and vulnerability that she was pouring out to me and the others. Sometimes it’s nice to hear that kids know that you have feelings, too.

After a brief moment of silence and contemplation, we put our books down, and moved out to our rug on the patio. We took turns going around the circle and talking about what it felt like to be disrespected and ignored. I even apologized to the kids that I hadn’t been seeking to understand them with my whole heart, either.

It’s moments like that, when you see the inside of a heart or when we get to share life together, that I am reminded that of why I am a teacher and why I make the sacrifices I make to serve these children- who seem so big and opinionated- who I forget are just little at heart and looking for some love, guidance, and someone to listen to them. 

At the end of all my practicums/student teaching I have given my kiddos bracelets as a goodbye present.
Tying the bracelet on their wrist gives the perfect amount of time for telling them why they're so special
and why I will miss them so much. I already have the string ready for this year!
Most of my class :)

"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another."

[1 Peter 4:10]

Oh, and teaching provides a few laughs now and then!


  1. I can't wait to hear even more about your adventures!

  2. poor billy with all those burgers in his nose!!

    your first day of school outfit is so cute!

  3. Love those moments! It's so sweet to hear children speak from the heart!

  4. I so enjoyed reading your teaching story, Lauren! I found you through the link up and I'm excited to follow along! Love that last picture:)

  5. I think it's awesome you want to teaching English abroad and are in Costa Rica! I would love to travel there. I am excited to follow & read along.

  6. YES YES YES YES YES. I couldn't love this more. Challenged by your heart and so encouraged by your stories! This is going to be a great link up! So happy you are here!

  7. I'm glad you like the kids!

    I miss you lauren!



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