My Students Are Teaching Me

Ever since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to be a teacher. I constantly thought about what my classroom would look like, what my students’ names would be and what it would be like to hear someone call me “Miss Kayla.” Now, I am 23 years old, and I am living my dream. I have the opportunity to wake up each day and teach 15 kindergarteners about shapes, numbers, and colors but most importantly all about Jesus and how much they are loved! To say my heart is overwhelmed is an understatement!

This is only my second year of teaching, but I am quickly learning that teaching is a profession in which you never stop learning or growing. If I stop learning and growing, how can I encourage my students to continue doing the same? There will never be a point in this career that I know absolutely everything. (And the same in life too!) That humbles me!

This year, I have been praying that God would continue to teach me what a humble servant looks like, both in life and in the classroom as a teacher. When I walk into the classroom in the morning, the last thing I want to be thinking is that I know it all.

Through that prayer, God has been using my students to teach me, humble me and remind me about very valuable life lessons. Kids have huge hearts! Kids shine a light in a world that is full of hatred and pain. When a child wakes up in the morning, they aren’t thinking about the latest news report of a criminal investigation, they are thinking, “I wonder if my mom will let me eat candy for breakfast.”

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t watch the news or be thinking about the things that happen in this world- I’m saying that there are so many things that children teach us, that we must be mindful of and live out in our own lives.

This year, I have intentionally placed in my mind that I’m not the only teacher in the classroom. There are 15 little teachers (plus Miss Lily, my teaching aid. Whom I love so dearly). These little teachers love candy, recess and play dough. These little teachers are my students. So as I am journeying through this school year, I am choosing to keep my eyes open for the lessons that these young minds can teach me and encourage me in my walk with Jesus.

This year there have been 2 really big life lessons that I have learned from my students, I hope that they encourage and challenge you, just like they did for me!

Kids don’t see skin color-

This year, there have been many protests and rallies fighting against racism and inequality for different races and cultures. In the mind of a child, they see people. They see big people or other little people. My white students don’t even second-guess picking up a brown crayon to color a person. They don’t see black or white, American or Asian. They simply see people and love them for who they are. Jesus simply sees people. Jesus simply loves people as they are.

Kids don’t hold things against each other-

Kids forgive and let go of offenses. As adults, I feel like it is easier to hold a grudge than it is to forgive and let go. Recently, I saw this between 2 of my students. Feelings were hurt, tears were shed, parents were upset… but the very next day, the students were totally normal with each other. The situation wasn’t talked about and they played normal and even helped each other build a castle out of blocks. As a child, they recognized that there are more important things to have on their minds than to hold a grudge against a friend. Jesus forgives. Jesus doesn’t remember our first sin from our last sin. He lets go and He loves us.

Kids teach us that there is simplicity in life that we must choose to live out. We over complicate things, hold onto anger and forget the joys that come with this life when we choose Jesus. I could share so many more stories about the things my students are teaching me, and I am so thankful for that. I pray that my heart and your heart would remember what it is like to be a child, with eyes full of wonder and excitement for the things that God is doing in His kingdom.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a teacher. To teach these young minds that are learning and growing each day. May I never forget the privilege and blessing that it is to be their Miss Kayla. I hope one day I’ll be able to share with them all that they have taught me in this life.

-Kayla Miller, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Kayla as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!