This year I was blessed to have taught many great kids, but one stood out because she was so different from everyone else. I have never met someone with a faith so joyful that it literally bubbled out of her everyday. Never a day went by that she didn’t say hi to me in the hallway or wished me well. And it wasn’t just a normal, friendly hello, but a glowing, sunshine type hello, that chased away any rain clouds that may have been hanging around.
Not only is this girl the nicest and kindest human being I have ever met, but she is smart and academically driven too. I’m sure she drives the other students nuts because she’ll hand in essays when I asked for a paragraph or her presentation will last 20 minutes. I have never seen a teenager who loved learning more than this girl and she knows so much about her Catholic faith, probably more than me! (that is always hard for a teacher to admit).
She did a presentation on Catholics and Marian devotions one day in class and I was blown away. I dabble in apologetics here and there and have studied all the arguments. I planned on playing devils advocate after her presentation…but I never got that chance because one by one she ticked off every opposition point I could think of (remember I am talking about a 14 year old girl!). I remember another day she came to class over the moon. Literally, she looked like a teen girl who had just been asked out by someone from One Direction! She had done a presentation on Blessed Mother Theresa in English, where she even dressed up as a nun. Her presentation had taken the entire class and she was thrilled that someone gave her the opportunity to speak!
I’m glad that teacher let her talk, and I hope her future teachers will encourage her love of learning and not discourage her. I know some teachers who get annoyed when students go over word limits etc. I hope and pray that it doesn’t happen to this girl because there is such a spark burning inside her and I would hate to see it extinguished at such a young age.
Some days I wonder why I teach teenagers, and then this student, who I admire, gives me a thank you card saying: “God knew I needed someone special to guide me this year, and he sent you!” Suddenly, teaching becomes worthwhile and I am once again excited for another school year to begin:)