I have, for the past thirty-one years, identified myself as a public school teacher. I became a public school teacher by choice. I gladly entered the classroom and believed I was making a difference. I have taught everything from second grade to eighth in the public schools, and I have served a multitude of roles including elementary classroom teacher, special education teacher, middle school Social Studies teacher, and Process Coordinator. There have been times I have stepped away from public school, namely when I was working at Rift Valley Academy, but I have always returned to the classroom. I have loved my career. I have considered it a calling and I have considered it an honor to serve the parents and student.
On Wednesday, May 24th, all of that changed as I joined the ranks of "retired teachers." I ended my career teaching fifth grade. I have had many excellent students over the years, and my final class was no exception. They were kind, respectful, resourceful, and hard working. A teacher can ask for no more than that from a group of kids. I have prayed for these kids in the morning before school starts and when I knew some were struggling. I will continue to pray for them as they come to mind. It was hard to say good-bye to them as they left on Tuesday. I felt quite melancholy as I cleaned out my room on Wednesday, said goodbye to teammates, handed in my badge and keys, and walked out the door for the last time.
I am no longer a public school teacher. I have lost that identity. But in losing that identity I am reminded that our true identity is found in Christ. In Christ, we are a new Creation. In Christ, we are redeemed. In Christ, our sins are forgiven. In Christ there is hope and life and salvation. My identity as a public school teacher is gone. My identity in Christ remains intact.
In 38 days, I will regain another identity I treasure; that of MK teacher, or Missionary Kid teacher. Please keep us in your prayers as we pack up our house and say good-bye to friends and family for the next couple of years. Pray for our transition to Africa, for our Africa-Based Orientation training, and for our settling in to life at Rift Valley Academy. Also, please pray with me for the students and parents I will serve in Africa.
In the love of the Savior we serve,