“Bless the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who do God’s bidding, who obey the voice of God’s word.”
She talked about the angels in our daily lives and gave examples of the times angels had touched her life. These angels are the ones who are hearing God and being guided by him.
This reminded me of so many times that angels have touched my life and I think it happens on a daily basis for me. Sometimes it might just be the smile of stranger when I’m needing it most.
I began to think about the angels that have been around me during my career as a teacher.
On my first day with students at a new high school, I had no furniture because we were still somewhat under final construction and was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know where to start first. At that moment, an assistant principal happened to stop by and check on me. He assessed the situation and said he would take care of it immediately. Within the next hour, I had desks being delivered!
One time I had to hold an emergency IEP meeting for a student with autism but I was also scheduled for bus duty (which is not something to be missing in action if you teach on the high school level). Since I was at a new school and it was the beginning of the school year, I didn’t know many but one teacher noticed my panic stricken look and asked me if she could help. When I told her my problem she immediately told me that she would cover for me. In fact, this was just one of many times that she was there for me when I needed her.
My first year teaching on the high school level back in 1984, I had agreed to be in charge of the prom in order to get the job. What was I thinking?! I knew nothing about organizing a prom. Seeing my dismay, another teacher and her boyfriend offered to help me and with their guidance, I pulled off an awesome prom!
One time my husband and I double dated with a student from my class and his date for the prom. When they arrived at the restaurant, his car was overheating and my student was so distraught about his car but we had no idea how to help him other than encouraging him to eat while we figured out a solution. After dinner, he went out to try to work on the car when some man drove by who works on cars at a dealership. When the man noticed my student in a tux under the car, he stopped and helped get the car running. Then they went home to get another car so they could go to the dance. This man was a true angel for me and my student!
These are just a tiny sample of all the angels who have been there for me during my teaching career. I’m sure these angels never know how much they meant to me at that time or even now. All the thank yous in the world couldn’t show my appreciation for them being there.
Then I began to wonder about how many times I might have been an angel and an answer to someone else’s prayer. I wonder if I was there when someone needed me. Have I reached out a hand without being asked?
One year two of my students worked so hard working at a nursing home as part of their education program that the staff and residents took up a collection so they could go to the prom. They bought their prom tickets, rented him a tux, bought her a gown and shoes, and paid for a $50 dinner at an elegant Italian restaurant. Unfortunately both of my students had disabilities and there is no way they would have been comfortable going to this restaurant on their own. So, my husband and I decided to double date so we could be there for them. What a wonderful time we had! I still hear from these students even though it is 9 years later!
I realize that my actions don’t have to be big or grandiose. It can be the small things that can make an impact too.
Besides actual teaching responsibilities, I hope that I can be an angel for my students. I hope I can be there when they need me. This might mean noticing something good that they have done and giving them praise. It might mean supporting them at an extracurricular event that they are involved in. It might just be believing in them when no else will.
How have you been an angel in your classroom? Please share.
Photo of Trinity Lutheran Church from the church's website
Original photo by Pat Hensley