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Winners Out of Ordinary People

by Nanette G. Barzaga

Being a teacher at a young age of 20 and spending the next  22 years of my life in the elementary school have given me a great learning experience on dealing with children.  I was Miss Barzaga to “Missed” Barzaga,  enjoying the blessing of being an educator, I unnoticeably did not realize how time passed so quickly that I remained single up to this age.  No regrets,  I am actually feeling more blessed. I spent more time with children that I think,  I have learned more from them, than they have learned from me.

Teaching children is not merely coming on time and giving the lessons for the day, evaluate their progress, give them grades and you’re done.  Elementary life is different, it is like being a mother, you have to take care of them all the time.   A quote from K. Patricia Cross, a scholar of educational research states, “The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate ‘apparently ordinary’ people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people.”  Teachers have the responsibility to hone talents, skills and potentials to ensure that they will be winners in the future.  I have realized that  teaching as a vocation is an important ministry, I have placed children and teaching  in my heart as my response to God’s call for service.  More than the monthly salary I received and the status of being an educator, I take more pride in bringing the love of God to these children.

I found blessing with my daily encounter with children,  teaching became more meaningful and I felt good.  For many of us, our idea of  “good” is as clear as anything of excellence but with more than its 50 definitions,  good also simply means right, proper and fit.  The daily task of creating a peaceful environment in the classroom,  encouraging pupils to speak out the truth, to let them play fairly,  to allow them to express their ideas and opinions respectfully aren’t they good?  What about those times that you have managed to display the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, calm, comfort even self control in many difficult circumstances in dealing with kids, aren’t they right, proper and fit?  I believe it is good.

In reality, with these daily experiences, God is helping us to grow more and more like Jesus, something we should rejoice and praise. As we go with our daily tasks in life, we may feel inadequate and discouraged that we may not be working according to what God wants us to do but looking at the simplest things that we do, we maybe already doing such.  We just don’t see it, we need to look through the eyes of our hearts.

In whatever job we are in right now, let us be confident that God is working with us.  Let us work together, doing our mission in whichever place we are into.  A reminder from Colossians 3:23 says that “ whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”   Someday we will realize that we may have been a part of a winner’s life, we may have been the one who pushed him to pursue his dreams, encouraged him to never give up or simple that one who tap his shoulder and said, “good job kid!”,  or we may never know at all.