Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I can feel that I am beginning to emerge from survival mode a bit. This weekend I baked pumpkin bread, dusted off my guitar, exercised (for 7 whole minutes) and remembered that I had a blog. It was fun to engage in activities that were not related to keeping my head above water at home or at school. With just a few exceptions, the transition back to teacher after a 7 year hiatus has been almost pure joy. I love the productivity, creativity, and community (both with the little and big people at the school). I get excited Sunday night because I get to go to my classroom the next day. I know. it’s totally obnoxious to Jason.
We had a bumpy introduction to life with a domestic helper (long story short, she was too sick to work) but God sent great friends to smooth out the wrinkles. We now have a wonderful new helper named Mildred (she deserves her own post on another day). Annabelle really likes Mildred and is very happy when we leave the house and come home. There is so much grace in this. I had so many fears about “leaving” Annabelle. Several times I almost didn’t take the job because of them. I really felt God prompting me to never “hide behind my children” and to move forward in faith. Now on the other side of the change, I’m so glad I took the leap.
I’ve always thought teaching at ICS was my dream job (husband is there, kids are there, great pedagogy, strong Christian values etc) EXCEPT for all the rich kids. It is not uncommon for my students to have multiple maids and drivers. I get emails from parents’ personal secretaries and the paparazzi has been staked outside the school this year. I have always had a heart for the poor and LOVED teaching in two low- income, immigrant schools in Los Angeles. So, I have often struggled with teaching this demographic in Hong Kong. I have questioned the "mission" circle on the diagram above, wondering if the world needs what I am doing. I tend to feel that even without me they will be just fine. That even if I flop as a teacher that their private tutors will make up the slack. That I’d be making more of an impact teachings kids who are otherwise failing and without a chance.
The first day of school God shifted my thinking. I was reading a picture book aloud to the class called “If Kids Ran the World.” The book describes a world where everyone has enough to eat, a house to live in, is kind to each other etc. It paints a picture of a world where the air is clean and no trash litters the ground. After the story a bright- eyed student raised his hand to share that when he grows up he wants to talk to China so they’ll stop polluting the air.
Then it hit me. These kids ACTUALLY could do that. Many of their parents own those factories in China. In fact, these trilingual, gifted, international children are well positioned to change Hong Kong, China and the world. Every day we close our class by singing the song “Make Me a Servant.” It gives me goosebumps as they sing, thinking about what God could do with their lives of influence if they lay them down to serve Him and others.
I still love teaching poor children and hope that someday I will have that privilege again. But for now my students walk into room 410 every day with a sign on front that reads “1D World Changers.” And I actually believe it.
(I didn't feel that this blog post would be complete without some of Annabelle's cuteness)