At times, I can be more sensitive than my own good which a trusted person often says is what makes me a truth teller. This right here above was not one of those play it safe kind of non truth telling days.

I feel like remembering that day by writing because God is making it abundantly clear what His call for me might be coming next and why I’m to keep the doubting away.

The other week was part of an end of a school year tradition, parties for meeting reading goals. However, if you didn’t make the goal, you didn’t make the party. It’s not so much the no party part that bothered me but rather the shame witnessed because of it. I’m not involved in all of the reasons why certain kids had not made the goal but I was involved in the exclusion. Why? Because I was the teacher in the room with them at the time of the exclusion.

Regardless of the reasons why, it is already hard enough to be different. In this case, why they were different mattered zip, zero, zippo reading points in the slightest to me. Because here they were being subjected to words from the non different peanut gallery about all the reasons why they weren’t going. Reminder after constant reminder that they were not invited to the party.

Oh my ever loving Jesus this is not okay, nothing about this feels okay. The look on their faces speaks the words that aren’t spoken because I’m too much in tuned for my own truth telling good. Let’s just say had I known, we would have had some cake that day but instead I got to be the one to exclude.

You know what I thought to myself? Not me Satan! It might not be a piece of cake party but we just fine having our own mental health pow wow. I still made them do their school work as any teacher needs to do but not until we had a little group chat and it went something like this…

  • You are wondering what we will be during this hour because you were whispering the question earlier. Feeling like you needed to whisper is hard.
  • We aren’t invited to the piece of cake party and we can’t change that.
  • What do you guys think about the reading party goals? How does it make you feel?
  • You are all exactly right, reading comes differently to everyone and it is not always easy.
  • We should not stop trying but not feeling like trying is understandable, especially when it is hard.
  • Take a break and try again.
  • When you keep trying, it can all change but only when you don’t give up.
  • Here is an example of someone like you, still not easy, but proof in change.
  • We are still celebrating, here are tickets and coupons just for being you.
  • AND, maybe a few last minutes of free time.

Those four kiddos worked hard that next hour and while shame might still come their young way, in that hour, they knew truth. Their different is completely what makes them special. In that hour, it was all they needed to be.

Confessions of a Teacher, Party Edition

Loved By Grace,