This week has been an emotional week for me. I have a former softball player who is battling drug addiction to the point that she failed a drug test IN REHAB. She called me this past Tuesday and I tried to encourage her but I felt very ineffective. There are times that I feel like an ineffective teacher too. And I don't mean just trying to get them to learn the math! I mean getting them to be serious about setting goals and working to reach them. I mean getting them to be concerned about being people of character who can go out into our community and can encourage and have an impact. I mean motivating them to take pride in our school and most importantly themselves!!
I told one of my classes this week that I HAVE to believe that my words of encouragement (sometimes it may seem more like admonishment than encouragement to them!) will make a difference...but to be honest I really wasn't feeling very positive about my ability to make a difference. I spent 4 years with my former player encouraging and even pleading with her to break the cycle of addiction in her family by making wise choices. She even reminded me of a time that I printed her off some information about how heredity effects the likelihood of a person being an addict and literally begged her to completely abstain from alcohol and drugs. She told me that she thought I was CRAZY because she would never go that far. So...if I couldn't stop her how will I effect change in the attitudes and minds of the students I only have for 1 year. How can I get them to take their academic and social lives seriously and make wise choices that line up with the goals they have (or should have!!)?
I am thankful that God sent Siran Stacy to our school to speak on Wednesday. In part of his speech he shared with us how he literally kept knocking on the door of his coach's office and asked him over and over again to give him another chance to play football. Then he encouraged us all to keep knocking. I know that I can not effect change but I KNOW A MAN WHO CAN. I hope that God allows me to be a small part of planting seeds of hope and encouragement in the hearts and minds of my students. I pray He sends others to water and further grow and develop those seeds to move these students into a bright and promising future. I will not be discouraged. I will keep on knocking. As Siran Stacy put it: The best of me is the rest of me!