"And I said, Here am I, send me."

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 18 2011

Spontaneous Joy, in the Midst of Chaos?

Something is going on. Joy is starting to occur. And I don’t understand it. I’m not complaining about it but the LORD must be moving in some crazy ways, because in the circumstances I’m currently in there is no way I have created this joy on my own. Especially when it’s not like I’ve chosen to even make my attitude positive.

We switched kids again, for the THIRD time this year. Every time I feel like things start settling in with the kids I have, progress is slowly but surely being made, and relationships are starting to form, it seems my kids get taken from me (our school changes levels again). It has been really hard. Especially losing over half of my homeroom kids. I’m now back to teaching just 6th graders, but I was given the very low half of them. My kids now range from a second grade reading level to fifth. I find myself nervous I’m not going to be able to help them as much as they need.

But if whatever I’m feeling can keep growing into something bigger, I think we may be onto something.

This week was the first time that literally my kids made me laugh or smile so hard that I couldn’t “give instruction” or “directions.” I simply sat there and laughed with them. And they clung on to me so hard and would hug me. Some of these being kids I don’t even have in my own classroom.

And the LORD has been using my students to remind me why I am here. I have received a letter every day this week from one of my students telling me how much they appreciate me and/or apologizing for disrespectful actions. Before my 5th graders left me today, they spent this entire week reading, using the dictionary to find words and definitions, writing, and sitting in their seats. (Coming from being able to barely SIT in a seat the first time they entered my class). Not only that, the kid who I literally thought I would NEVER have a good day with (the one kid I literally have told my principal, “she needs to go,” had the best day out of all my kids today. And after the 3rd time taking her math test she finally passed with an 80% after failing the last two with a 50%.

Maybe some of this joy is coming from the fact that I am slowly getting my personal life back. I’m not spending my entire life working anymore. When it’s time to call it quits for the night, I call it quits.

There is chaos still occurring in my district and in my building.

But somehow joy is seeping through.

Jesus. You are so mighty and unpredictable. And good.

6 Responses

  1. Ashley

    Isn’t this interesting…I have felt called to do TFA as a sort of silent mission trip where I would show, not tell, God’s grace and mercy to kids struggling without society’s care or attention. I finally today completely accepted this, and though I’m still a bit nervous about this hopeful new direction, I find it a bit interesting that today is the day I stumble upon your blog. =D

    • Kayla

      Hi Ashley,

      I would love, as a believer, to be able to talk to you about this sometime. Be forewarned though, there has been so much going on. And I would actually urge you to read through the past couple of my blog posts to get a real picture of what it’s like and what I am going through. I felt called to this and is why I accepted the offer, but it truly is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I’m being tested in every way, even spiritually and haven’t felt like I’ve been able to show God’s love, grace, and mercy the way I intended. It’s slowly getting there. But prepare for battle through lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of prayer. Stay in touch!

  2. Never have seen this blog, but that is an encouraging post. We all need that joy in what we do. Thanks.

  3. Michael Josephson

    This is a wonderful website. I want to share with you my tribute to teachers at http://whatwillmatter.com/2011/11/commentary-making-lives-749-5/

  4. Amennnn. God is good. So good.

  5. KCMO Chief

    Kayla: I am so glad that you found joy this week! I care for you dearly and am so glad hat I have you here to encourage me daily.

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Elementary School

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