Friday, April 14, 2017

In Praise Of Aides

This is about Megan Hill but over the past three, Megan's role has been played by Minna Wong, Mi Ngo, and this year, Jean Zolensky. Megan actually was my student teacher aide BOTH her junior and senior years- double blessing for me! This is from September 8, 2012.
My life got better yesterday. During fourth period on Friday, Megan became my teacher's aide. That might not seem like a big deal to you but let me assure you, it is. Megan is an absolutely awesome young lady. A junior at WCS, she is incredibly smart and incredibly kind. She is loved by both her peers and teachers with good reason; Megan is the definition of class. She jumped right in with the first project I needed completed, the arranging and stapling of all the kids' traced hands on the wall. It's time consuming and tedious but she got a good start on it. I have a class of eighth graders fourth period and it's not ideal but we'll work around them. I told another teacher yesterday that I hit a home run when Megan came on board. He corrected me: 'You mean a grand slam.' I gladly stand corrected.

Megan joins a long line of wonderful teacher's aides that have blessed my classroom over the years from Kaitlyn to Betsy to Chelsey to Hanna to Samaria to Gloria to Bouba to Beverly to Viri to Nancy to Karla to Kelly. I've also had basketball aides who for the most part helped me coach and they have tended to be an even boy/girl split and likewise invaluable. I really like the ten girls who make up my middle school squad for the 2012-2013 school year. We have a practice period so we are already working as a team. We are an international squad this year- we have two girls who grew up outside the US! But we suffered a huge loss from last year and it's just now sinking in. Last May, Avery graduated eighth grade and has moved up to high school status. She didn't play for us last year but she was the most valuable girl on the Lady Wildcats- Avery was our student manager. Ask any middle or high school coach and they will tell you; good managers are harder to find than good players. Few want that role any more. It was a big thing when I was a kid to be part of something but I think now some see it as a demeaning position. They shouldn't. Avery made sure my day got off to a good start. She'd run errands for me in practice, get the cones out for drills, and sometimes chase basketballs. She would put the equipment up when we were done and run upstairs to tell the office who, if anybody, was absent. On top of that, she would next go to Room 258 and straighten up my teaching arena, preparing it for the one hundred plus students who would soon invade. Even though Avery never stepped foot on the court during a game, I have not been able to replace her. Paul wrote this about Timothy in Philippians 2 and verse 20:
 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.
Well, I can only 'AMEN, Brother Paul' while substituting the name Avery for Timothy! When we are givers in this world, we make everything in the orbit of our existence a little brighter. When we are takers, we suck the air out of the room. The Megans and the Averys keep the rest of us on track and they do it with little fanfare. They serve and we are blessed. They don't get paid- they do get a Christmas present from a grateful instructor/coach- and sometimes, they get a shoutout in a devotional blog. It's a tiny way for me to begin to say thank you.

Applicable quote of the day:
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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