Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

#TeacherLife

Being an educator is not for the faint of heart. It involves wearing more than just your teacher hat. It includes being a parent, a nurse, an advocate, a friend and most importantly a counselor.

Teaching is tough: long days, little recognition, and lack of appreciation. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. God has used me in ways I had only ever dreamed of before. Let me explain what I mean when I say that you wear more hats than just “teacher”.

Your Parent Hat. My students come from some pretty rough backgrounds. Lots of hurt and broken families. When they come to school, they don’t always come from a home that served breakfast that morning or wished them well before they left the house. Some students come crying because of a fight they had with their parent, or stomach growling because “Mom said we don’t have food money until the end of the week…”. So when you have students like these, you become a parent to them. You hug them in the morning while saying “I hope you have a good day”. You ask about their sports game that happened over the weekend and ask where there next game is so that you can attend. You buy snacks to pass out in the middle of class so that no one is distracted by hunger. You hug them before they leave to head back home. You love on them with a love that most have never experienced.

Your Nurse Hat. Kids are crazy and clumsy. No surprise there. They fall down, they get hurt. They come to you for help. You supply your classroom with bandaids and soap so that can you take care of them when they get hurt, which is often. You make sure they are okay and wipe away any tears.

Your Advocate Hat. You are an advocate for these students. You stand up for them when no one else does. You notice when a student misses too many days of school, comes to school with concerning bruises, or when they act out but in a cry for help. You make things happen for them. You try with everything in your power to make sure that they are safe when they are out of your care. When a student is being bullied, you stand up for that child.

Your Friend Hat. Sometimes a student just needs to have a laugh before the start, in the middle, or at the end of the day. You are there for the kids to joke around with, appropriately and in the right time, and to share a laugh with the students. You have fun with them and let them see that life isn’t always so serious and heavy. You help make their load a little lighter.

Your Counselor Hat. This is what I think is the most important hat that you wear. You are the person that they see most of the day. They are learning life skills from you whether you realize it or not. When a student gets worked up, they normally don’t know how to handle their emotions. That’s why you are there for them. You teach them skills like taking deep breaths, walking away from a situation, or coming to an adult for advice. You show them how to properly handle their feelings. When two students get into a disagreement, you are there for them to talk it out with and come up with a resolution to the issue. You are teaching them things that will impact their life for their future.

Here’s a tidbit of how God is using me in the classroom!

First week of being in the classroom there was a little boy that was very quiet. Like I thought he was a mute. He never wanted to say anything to anyone. Wouldn’t raise his hand even if he knew the answer. The kid gave me nothing. But I made sure to talk to him every day even if he didn’t talk to me back. It took a while but he eventually opened up, first to me and then with the class. He’s now the first to raise his hand and the most eager to answer a question! He has made friends in the class and just smiles a different way now.

There is another boy in my class that gives me a purpose for doing what I’m doing. He’s the smallest student but has the biggest anger. If he gets set off, his face gets stern and he clenches his fist. He use to throw his chair, hit desks, say a few choice words, and kick the wall when he got upset, it was intense. But since being a counselor to him, he is my first hug of the day. He will walk right into the class and before anything else, come to me, hug me, and say “I need that to start my day right!” This little boy melts my heart EVERYDAY. When he gets worked up, he’ll grab my hand and lead me into the back of the room. He’ll say “Okay Ms. Moroz, I need you to do those breathing exercises with me because I’m mad.” So we’ll take deep breaths together and then I’ll ask him what happened. After he shares, I ask if he got everything off his chest, he normally replies yes, and then we hug. His outburst and anger have improved a lot. We do pep talks before going to places that I know he doesn’t like. I have seen such growth in him and his smile is my favorite smile in the world.

Overall in the classroom, I have learned this: create a relationship with the children before trying to teach them. It’s easy to go into the classroom and just be the teacher. Will the students enjoy your class? Probably not. Students need to feel valued and loved. They notice when you care for them. Once you have established a relationship with the students and they see that you care, they listen to you and actually want to hear what you have to say. That relationship with the student can make a tough subject like math become learnable to them because they know that what you say is important because you care about them.

Teaching has been on my heart for a long time. Yes it is stressful and some days you go home crying, but the reward for making an impact in children’s lives is unexplainable. I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing for the world.

I finally feel like I’m doing what I was made to do.

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