I heard or read somewhere that life will continue to give us lessons until we learn it.
Two weeks after graduating from college, I was already teaching college students.
I was so idealistic, perfectionist and wouldn’t tolerate students who were cheating, talking while I was teaching and not doing their work. Yes, I was really strict! Many of my former students would attest to that!
The thing was, even if I knew I needed to change, I continued on doing what I was doing because I was afraid if I lost my control, if I became friendly and acted my age (I was just 20 then! some of my students were even older than me!), I felt my students wouldn’t respect me and may take advantage of my kindness.
So I continued on with my demeanor; I pushed my students to meet my expectations!
I abhorred cheating if they did so (I was good at finding out; because all our activities were computerized), the next day they would find their names written in bold caps posted in the classroom! And I didn’t care about their feelings at all!
I was the authority; they needed to follow my commands.
I remember students in the hallway would just stop talking if they saw me walking towards them!
My students knew that they should focus on my lecture; otherwise, they would be criticized, embarrassed and put down.
My style of teaching and behavior continued on for almost a year.
I was happy my students were struggling to study my subject! I was happy they couldn’t cheat, well because I would make 3 sets of test for a single lesson!
But I also knew in time I needed to stop my “being so mean” and learn to find ME again.
I thought I was in control as I tried my best to change my students when I should have been changing me.
It took time but, thank God, the change of heart, happened. I was sorry I affected my students in ways and depths I wasn’t sure. But, if it was all negative, I am sorry.
It was all inner work. I was operating in fear and negative vibes. It actually caused me to be stressed-out and not live a full life at all!
When I started to let go and found peace within me; when I allowed acceptance for people’s uniqueness, differences and varied levels of intelligence to take over, I found joy in teaching and making my students learn. I was freed!
I thank God for the 3 years of experience in teaching college students, that time of my life was pertinent for me to learn my lessons and to prepare me for what came next.
Lord, may You continue to guide us as we face life’s challenges. May we be freed from fear and negativity. Instead, may we open ourselves to love, trust, and acceptance. In Jesus’ name.