Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mentoring

So, yes, it has been a while since I've taken the time to blog -- more than 2 months.

Why, you ask? Normally in September I blame it (and every other flaw in my life) on the opening of school. My schedules goes from the slow and easy, relaxed pace of summer to the non stop flurry of activity!

In the midst of the school rush though, I've noticed that mentoring has become a recurring theme in my life. Last spring, one of the teens at my church asked me to be one of her "life coaches." Her parents encouraged her and her brother to select adults that they trusted to become life coaches / mentors as they moved from teens to young adults. She and I met once over the summer, and then recently all of her "coaches" joined together with her, her mom, and one friend (who happens to be my daughter) for a special over-night camp out. It was a special evening for Megan and for all of us who were able to share the memory with her.

As school started this year, I had the joy of working with a student teacher. The young lady is a senior at Philadelphia Biblical University who is finishing her program in English, Secondary Education. She spent the first week or so observing, and then gradually took over each of my classes. It was fun for me to feed her ideas, give her advise, encourage, and even when necessary give suggestions for improvement. In one sense, it made my own work load a little easier, but in another sense, it changed how I planned everything. My focus was not only on where my students needed to be, but how the student teacher would fit into the plan. Katie's last day was Friday, and I am really going to miss her. I am praying for her as she moves into a new student teaching assignment in a public school.

Along with having a student teacher, my principal asked me to help out two of our new teachers. Both are brand new teachers -- one has about 6 months of experience and the other graduated in June and started with us in September. Both are in the music department are delightful to work with.

Somewhere in the middle of all this mentoring and coaching, a verse came into my mind:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they
can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3 - 5.


So I guess that means I have crossed into the assembly of "older women." Ironically, I still value my own mentors. I have a few women who are older than me whose opinions I value dearly. I look to them for advise, for guidance, and sometimes just for a shoulder to cry. But now it's time to take what God has given me and share it with those following behind.

I don't ever want to take the attitude of a know-it-all. Another verse that has shown up several times to me recently is 2 Corinthians 3:4-5:
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes
from God.

I don't claim anything for myself -- I give all credit to God. And the funny thing, like most people, many of the lessons I've learned are lessons I "failed." It seems like when I mess up, I learn how NOT to do that again. So hopefully, I can share with others these lessons!