God Smiled

I have been teaching for several years. I retired from full-time teaching in 2019. After feeling my way and stumbling in the dark for a few months after retirement, I began working as a GED teacher. I taught GED in addition to my regular teaching assignment; it wasn’t like I didn’t know what I was getting into.

Well, I have been at this assignment for three years. I began teaching virtually during COVID. We couldn’t get the students to return to in-person classes. So, this year I started teaching in-person and virtually. Saying this is hard is an understatement.

I haven’t gotten a raise during that time. I didn’t have any graduates in the first year. Last year I had seven. This year is not looking promising. I’ll be happy to have three students.  Well, it hit me this year: I’M TIRED!

I want to stay at home, that is, until this past Tuesday. My classroom is in a public library. I exited my car late as usual as I walked toward the library doors. I said a prayer under my breath.

Lord, how long will I have to continue coming to this library? Surely there must be someplace else where I can teach GED and do just as much good. Lord, please show me what my next move is.

I usually teach reading language arts on Tuesday. But after last Thursday’s math class, I realized I couldn’t afford to teach math one day a week. So, I gave the students six geometry problems over the weekend. Of course, not one person did the assignment. So, I began class with the problems right while reteaching everything I went over last week. I noticed something about two of my newest students. Aside from the typical deer in the headlights look that I have grown accustomed to, this was a look of pure confusion, bewilderment, and I don’t have a clue what you’re doing. Not wanting to call them out on it, I waited until I gave the other students an assignment and spoke to each of them privately.

After hearing about their childhood horror story about their learning experiences, I was on the verge of tears. The best way to sum up the conversations with both students is to say God has a sense of humor. By the time I finished talking to the students, not only was I assuring both students that “I have no plans to leave, I’ll be right here with you; it may take you a while, but as long as God allows me to come, we’ll get you through this.” At first, I couldn’t believe what I heard myself saying. I’ve found peace in my decision. I gave up the virtual class, and it fills like a normal classroom again.

So, maybe I am called to be here a while longer; I can live with that, but since that question is settled now, God, where is the money coming from?

If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.

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