Challenge to Commitment
You don’t really know what’s in you, until it’s tested. Or in other words, “Under pressure, the real comes out.”
I have a small circumstance that I am pretty sure was a test of something that I claim to believe. I say to professional educators, to youth ministry people, and to parents all the time that students have different strengths, ways of learning…Some who are so disinterested in the “classroom” setting are curious, tenacious learners in other venues. I’m thinking of this young man who is so getting under my classroom teacher skin right now. He is plenty bright. But he can’t stand school style learning. He totally tunes it out. He plays, sings, fiddles around. At best, he sleeps. He drives me crazy. It is total “blasphemy” in my “sacrosanct ” view of classroom. I so wanted to just embarrass him the other day. His complacency in the face of information, in my mind, important information, so angered me. I made myself breathe and not react to him.
I have a policy which I am trying to expand in the earth about pulling forward students into what they have (consciously or unconsciously ) dreamed to be. I try not to push. Pushing doesn’t work. They don’t take ownership in the learning, so that it will continue, apart from me and the consequences I might employ. I had just talked this idea up in a significant way . I breathed deep and stepped back from the room. I tried to see the room as God might. “Who was He working in, on, at that moment? Lot’s of children slept. Even some good students. But others sat leaning forward – drinking in what they were seeing, hearing. Their minds were digging into themselves, questioning their responsibility to what they were seeing.
God was warning me to say quiet and true to what He had shown me about teaching/training. “If you yell, or even in any way disturb the sleeping, the doodling, etc., you will break this suspended moment. Trust me.” I am so glad that I did. Later some came and talked to me about what happened in them, while the not tender to such, slept.
The next day, God brought a memory to my mind about the young man whose disinterest so distressed me. We had this huge problem to solve for Homecoming. It was a mechanical, structural problem. I was clueless, as were most of us, as to how we should even begin to address it. He spent hours and hours working, reworking answers to our needs. He came early, left later than most of us every time. He cleaned up after everyone. He led us through that process. He is a good man in the making. I am not going to let his giddiness at almost being free from claustrophobic classroom settings, make me forget who he is, and how he employs his given abilities to learn.
I think that I passed the test. And, I am more sure now than I was about the validity of my theory.