March 6, 2013 by travelingsole
Today I bring you a guest post from Dan Yutzy. I haven’t convinced him to start his own blog yet but maybe someday. 🙂 You can leave him nice comments here and he will get them. Dan is one my friends from Faith Builders. He has a way of writing that draws you in. Dan is finishing up his last semester teaching school in Cayo, Belize. He has dedicated two years of his life to the students of Red Creek School. Listening to his students dreaming about what they wanted to be when they grow up inspired him to write the following. Is it worth it spending two years of your life helping children answer that age old question “What do you want to be when you get big?” Thanks for sharing Dan.
A doctor, working long and inconvenient hours to bring healing in a hurting world. A businessman, running a successful business with integrity and heart. An astronaut, giving flight to more than fancy. A nurse, who gives of her own vitality to restore life to the sick. A school teacher, pouring herself into young students and shaping their lives, pushing and nurturing them so they will grow. A mother, caring for her children and creating for them a happier childhood than her own.
What threads connect all of these people? They are who my class of nine students aspires to become. I have dreamers, artists, athletes, intellectuals, and pragmatists. What am I doing to shape and encourage their dreams? I desire to look into their future and visualize their goals with them; to empower them to become men and women that God can take delight in, rejoicing that they have consecrated their talents to Him and are not content with only good enough.
From Monday morning until Friday afternoon the students take in new material, produce evaluations of it (sometimes unwillingly), and subconsciously emulate their teacher. They laugh and learn with each other and with me. They are my life’s work for now.
Sometimes teachers wonder if students retain anything that is taught to them. The other day I was plastering a wall with my boys when I heard one of them repeating a phrase under his breath. Listening more closely, I realized he was saying, “Medulla Oblongata”(part of the brainstem). We had looked at the brain in biology about a month before that and now I know he retained at least a small part of what he was taught.
I could tell the story of my boy who is worried about hell, because he thinks it as an unpleasant place. He asks many questions, and sometimes he stays after school and we talk about everything from Eden to Armageddon and beyond. I tell him hell is far worse than unpleasant but God is about more than just escaping hell, that there is a sweet peace and a joy in just letting someone bigger than you take over and make those perfect decisions for you. His premise of “ I’m not a bad guy” is flawed, and he is troubled as he begins to realize it. So far he has held back, saying he is afraid God will ask too much.
Students are such amazing people and I feel privileged to shape their lives. I feel I have learned a lot from them; they have caused me to look deeply into my soul and examine what is there. They want answers, do I have them? Being a teacher has helped me to realize that all of us are constantly learning and constantly teaching as well. This truth is serious, powerful and inescapable (unless we plan to shun all contact with humanity).
Will my students all achieve the goals that they dream of? God only knows. At Red Creek School we desire to teach the students to live for God and equip them to learn on their own, even if they forget the things they learned from the books.