It was my final year of teaching, and we had a new principal in our school. I don’t know if she was really tougher than our former principal, or if it just seemed that way because we weren’t used to her and she wasn’t used to us. Whichever way it was, it seemed to us that she was pretty tough on both the teachers and the students. As an example, if you got called to the principal’s office, you knew you were in BIG trouble!
I had a grade 6 core French class that year. Usually I taught Grade 5 French Immersion, which means that the students were in French by choice. The core French classes were mandatory for students who were in English school, and needless to say, it was very difficult to motivate them. As I’ve told in previous devotionals, this was an especially tough class to motivate. They had hardly learned any French from the teacher they had the previous year, and I had been forewarned that the class was full of behavior problems. I would soon learn this from experience, as it was apparent from day 1 that they were neither motivated to learn, nor motivated to be friendly with their teacher!
As I have previously told, I began praying for these students, as I did for all my students, and slowly things began to change. The pivotal point came the day a few of the students saw the cross I always wore around my neck. I would find out that there were a few students in the class from Christian homes, and this opened the door for some more “friendly” conversation. And by following God’s lead, I discovered how to motivate them.
By the end of the school year, the students had actually made progress in their French, and they were proud of their newly-attained abilities. In fact, most of the class earned good grades.
It was right after I turned in the final grades for this class that I got the note: I was being called to the principal’s office. She had “questions” about the grades I had given my core French class. The slip of paper said, “How is it possible that students can speak French in your class when other teachers had no success teaching them?” She couldn’t believe that this particular class had actually earned passing grades, let alone good ones, and I was being accused of inflating their marks.
In reality, I hadn’t. The students had truly worked hard and they had deserved the marks I had given them. In the end, I actually never made it to the principal’s office, and somehow, she never called me on my delinquency!
It made me understand what David meant when he said, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’” (Psalm 28:1-6 NIV)
I had never had such a great core French class, and it was all because my Heavenly Father helped me. And when the principal wanted to give me trouble for my grades, “The One enthroned in heaven [laughed]”!
Whatever your challenge is today, give it to God. He’ll give you good ideas, He’ll bless your efforts, He’ll open doors… And sometimes He even makes angry principals forget what they are angry about!
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)