Tomorrow is Orientation at Master's Academy in Marietta. Thankfully, all of my lesson plans and my parent letters are written. All I have to do now is go to the website and upload copies of my syllabi which are already written as well.
Sigh. Whew. Insert other expressions of relief here.
Now that the hard part is behind me, I can really look forward to starting the year. And I am looking forward to it. Last year was one of the best years I've ever had at Master's, in the sense that I feel like I built some real relationships with several of my students. I've always had students that loved me and enjoyed being in my classes, but this year I actually took the steps to begin mentoring some of my students outside of the classroom and thus building a relationship with them that continues beyond the school environment and regardless of whether they attend the school or not.
I did that last year by starting AGE, which stands for Awesome Girls Extraordinaire. I don't know why, but I had the "bright" idea of inviting some of my music students to accompany me on some of my photo walks. They jumped on it. We had fun. And took lots of pictures. And I was able to learn things about them that I would not have learned at school. They learned things about me too.
This year, I want to continue building this AGE group. I have some ideas for activities that I want to do with them, but also I want to be extra mindful of recognizing those moments when I can speak into their lives. Not that I don't usually recognize them or haven't spoken into their lives already. I have. But I feel like there's so much more that I could do, and I want to always be alert and aware of those opportunities.
I want to inspire them. Encourage them. Remind them that life is such an incredible gift, and that each of them is a gift. I want to pour myself into them in such a way that they are compelled to pour themselves into others. I hope that I can motivate them to settle for nothing less than walking in their destiny at all times. This is such a precious and tumultuous time for these girls, as the temptations to go down potentially harmful and even destructive paths seem to be so prevalent at this age. I made many mistakes when I was their age, and I realize that there weren't many people around me at the time that I could look up to. My mother is the exception, but she was working two jobs and I was left to my own devices most of the time. While I was responsible by most people's standards, I know that if I had had some sort of mentor in my life I might have fewer regrets now.
Maybe I can play a small part in helping these girls steer clear of those negative paths and thus help them go into adulthood with few regrets, even no regrets.
I know that sounds like a lofty goal, but I think the Lord is giving me the grace to do just that. Just as He has given me the grace to be a wife to my husband, and to raise my three children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, I feel like he is giving me grace to be an example for these girls.