"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary."
The sounds of children's laughter amidst the drone of cars passing by our house are shooting straight from my ears and into my heart. The first day of school fell upon our community this week.
It's hard not to notice. There's an elementary school on our street, a half a block away from our home. Every morning and afternoon, kids, bikes, and cars parade up and down our street.
The beginning of a new school year! It's always been an emotionally charged time for me. As a kid, I couldn't wait. I loved everything about it. As a mom, I was a tossed salad of feelings ~ excitement, mingled with sadness and joy. Even a little relief! As a teacher, the first week of school was an adventure I always felt privileged to take. That room full of children I'd grow to love over the months made me feel a bit overwhelmed. But mostly I was honored to be filling the role of their teacher.
Today, I listen to the sounds of a new school year from a distance. The walls of my home separate me from the event. But the sounds are loud enough to penetrate the walls and tug on my heartstrings. There's no class to attend. No kids to take to school. No classroom of students awaiting me. And perhaps, this is my most emotional first week of school. Ever.
I hope the future holds more classrooms and students for me. It's such a difficult ministry to give up. Those kids wiggle their way into your heart, and they never really leave. They just stretch and expand it.
The hum of a school bus just passed our home, and I can picture those tired little faces on board. I hope many are smiling. And I pray it's a great year for all. Perhaps this is my new role in their lives. Each day when I hear them passing, I can lift them up in prayer. And let them stretch my heart a little more.
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
~Henry Brooks Adams