One thing that I really like to do right before bed while I am praying is to thank God for all of my blessings. I have so much in my life to be thankful for, my husband, my family, my health, my home, my job, and many many more.
My job is amazing, and I am so blessed to be a teacher. I teach 5th and 6th grade at a private Christian school in the inner city. I know private and inner city don't seem to go together, but we are set up on the worst side of town for a reason. Our school provides full scholarships for 95% of the students, because otherwise their families would not be able to afford to come. Here is some insight to where I work everyday:
We are a block from the worst street in the city
We are 2 blocks from the projects
Our area of town is rampant with drugs, alcohol, and spousal abuse
Many of my students parents don't speak any English
Many of my students parents never graduated high school
Many of my students parents work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet
At our school, many of kids have at least one parent or uncle in jail. Or they don't know where their parents are so they live with Grandma and Grandpa. Some days, my kids come into my classroom with a chip on their shoulder because their mother would not unlock the door for them to come into the house until 8p.m. Some days while I watch the news I see there was another drive by on the side of town where I work, and I pray it was not someone from one of my student's families like it was last time. Sometimes my students come to school scared because they just spent the night in a shelter to get away from their abusive father. But.......
when the get to school, things change.
They get a free breakfast, and lunch, so they know they will not go hungry.
They see the lights on, so they know the power was not cut like at their home.
And for a few hours a day, they know that they will be loved and safe.
As I sat there yesterday and watched my kids work, I was once again reminded how grateful I was for my job. Yes, I could find a job teaching that was not 45 minutes from my house. Yes, I could find a job that pays me a lot more money. Yes, I could find a job that required less of me. But would it be just as fulfilling? No.
One thing that amazes me about my sweet kids is that despite everything, they manage to show up everyday. Plus, they give me 100% everyday, because they know that I will accept nothing less, and neither will any other teacher.
I get so excited at this time of year because the kids are in the final push of school. Next year, the 6th graders will become middle school kids who enter our college prep middle/high school. Every kid that graduates leaves school with 16 hours of college credit!! Every kids that has graduated from our school has gone to college!!! We are working to get these kids out of this area, arm them with faith, hope, and knowledge, so that they will one day come back, and transform our side of town.
Yes, I am grateful for my job.