God’s Love in the Classroom
God’s Love in the Classroom
- February 2, 2022
- Posted by: Caitlin McCallum
- Category: Wow Story
This is my first year as a Lutheran Ministries Special Education teacher. The difference between working for Lutheran Ministries and for the normal public education system is stunning. I knew that I really, really wanted this job when, at the beginning of my interview, the two women interviewing me started the interview with prayer. It wasn’t just any prayer, either. It was a prayer that the Lord’s will would be done in the filling of this position.
I’ve worked as a foster parent for 73 children over the span of seven years, and in that position I was able to share my faith and God’s love with children who were hurting from some of the most horrific traumas imaginable.
When I worked within the public school system, I wasn’t able to share Jesus’ love with the children in an overt way for fear of losing my job. The first day here at Bethany I cried after introducing myself to the first grade class and joy at the freedom actually being able to mention God and his love for them and how He created us all so differently and wonderfully. The students each had a lollipop with a ribbon loosely or tightly tied around the stem; some had a lollipop with no ribbon at all. I gave the students thirty seconds to unwrap their lollipop. After that amount of time I explained to them that God loves us all so much and, when He created us, He made us all with different gifts and passions. Sometimes we have things we have to work out in our brains, and that’s where Special Education teachers like me come into the process. Sometimes when you have a “knot in your brain” and have a hard time figuring something out, like on that lollipop, school can be hard for you. It’s hard to look around at other students who may not struggle with the same thing or have no knot at all on their lollipop.
I then showed the students who were struggling a different way they could open the lollipop, thus unlocking the knowledge. “Then,” I told them, “your teachers, parents and friends can help you become the Superheroes for God He meant you to be!”
Being able to bring God into a lesson itself completely changes the ways in which educating children with Special Education needs is approached. With the knowledge that *each* child is fearfully and wonderfully made at the outset, there is a certain joy that comes with helping them to discover their own unique gifts and passions underneath the Banner of Heaven so that these children can one day go out and help the next generation become everything God meant for them to be.
Thank you for making this ministry possible. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach these precious children!
~written by Rachel Hillestad, LSEM teacher at Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS