WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!
Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
When the teacher entered the room, I could tell she was disturbed. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Wyrick,” she said. I didn’t want you to see this note I took from a student. I talked with the principal about it, and he told me to give it to you. He felt that you would know what to do with it.” I looked at her puzzled as she continued. “It says some really nasty things about you. I told the principal that I thought the girl ought to be kicked out for writing that kind of a note about a teacher. I’m sorry you have to read it, but here it is.”
She stood and watched me as I read the note. She was right; it was awful. Under my breath, I prayed for wisdom. Instantly, God reminded me of a similar incident when I was in the eighth grade. It was strange; this girl was in the eighth grade too. I knew what I was to do. I thanked the teacher for bringing me the note and I told her that I would speak with the student.
My friend and I loved to write each other notes. They were usually unimportant, rambling words--much about nothing. One day I was frustrated with my choir teacher because he kept treating our choir class like a sing-a-long instead of an actual choir. I spewed my thoughts and feelings out on notebook paper both front and back during one of my classes and included several unkind descriptions of the teacher. I would see my friend right after choir, so I carried the note unfolded on top of my books as I left the classroom. My teacher stood at the classroom door as we left; he saw the note. He snatched it and said, “Oh, Elderine, is this a note?”
I panicked. I grabbed for the note and wrestled with him for it. The note tore and I got half of it. Unfortunately, he got the bad half. Most of the ugly words I had written about him were in his hands. He read it. Then he said, “Young lady, you need to talk to me before you leave.”
My heart pounded. I really did like him as a teacher. I was just writing; it was just something to write about. Oh, if I had not written all those things down. I knew I was in trouble. I sat and waited until the other students left. Then the teacher sat down on his stool and faced me. He looked at me a second and then asked me to explain what I meant in the note. I did. I also told him that I liked him as teacher, but I would prefer to have choir class rather than a sing-a-long.
He listened quietly for a few minutes then he said, “Elderine, I’m going to overlook this note. But let me give you some advice. Never write anything down that you don’t want others to read.” (I can assure you that I never forgot that advice.) He let me know that the incident was finished, and he let me leave.
And sixteen years later, I was about to face a student over the same issue. I had a mixture of mercy and grace in my heart for her. I knew how she felt. I understood because I had been there. When we met, we talked; I shared my note story; I forgave her; I found out what was bothering her; and I prayed with her about her problems at home and at school. We hugged each other and I sent her on her way without consequences showing the same mercy shown to me. I am still friends with this young lady and her family today.
Teachers, do not forget what it was like to be a kid. Love them in spite of their foolishness.
DEAR GOD, THANK YOU FOR PREPARING ME FOR THIS SITUATION SIXTEEN YEARS EARLIER. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A WISE CHOIR TEACHER WHO SAW BEYOND MY FOOLISHNESS INTO MY HEART. YOUR WAYS ARE BEYOND DESCRIPTION.
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Copyright © 2002-2013 by Elderine Wyrick
Polishing the Apple
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Wyrick, Elderine (2002-2013). "Article/Devotion Title" in Polishing the Apple, www.teacherdevotion.com.
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