You’re currently in your second week of Basic Training. By now, I’m sure you’ve begun to learn a very important lesson.
Little things matter.
In fact, more people notice them than you might have thought before you left.
As this lesson is imparted on you daily, I, too, am seeing this play out in my own life.
As you know, I was recently nominated for a teacher award at my school. You might remember, because you were still home when I got the news, that I cried when my assistant principal told me that I was in the top five. I was quite shocked because I’ve never considered myself very special.
The packet for the award has been in-depth; the list of things to be completed, though somewhat short, has required much thought and introspection.
I requested letters of recommendation from colleagues and a former student; I asked four current students to sit for taped interviews that the selection committee will later watch.
What angst I went through. Who should I ask? What would they say? Had I ticked them off so they’d say negative things?
Everyone I asked was more than happy to participate, and as I started receiving letters to add to my packet, I became overwhelmed with emotion.
My fellow teachers who wrote letters were so very kind. They mentioned specific instances…interactions with students and other staff…that I’d taken no special notice of nor really remembered.
They had noticed.
My former student wrote such a lovely letter. She’s set to graduate in a few short weeks, and she said that she wants to become a teacher because of me…because of the little things I did for her class the year I taught her.
She had noticed.
A couple of nights ago, I worked on editing the video that had been taken of me teaching a class. It was awkward, at first, but then I began to see things…the ways that students were helping each other in class…the compliments they were paying to each other when I was helping someone across the room. I’m fairly certain that I had a role in their behavior, because I’d been modeling it all year.
At the end of the lesson, I saw that the video continued, and to my shock, I saw the student interviews that had been conducted last week.
I felt like a fly on the wall as I listened in.
Rooster, do you know that each student recounted instances where I had spoken words of motivation…when I’d taken a few moments to encourage them to hold their heads high and not judge others.
They spoke of how they’d become readers in my class because of the books I’d pointed them to and the questions I’d asked while I was doing read alouds…seemingly simple questions in my opinion but questions that made them see the world in a different way.
One of these students was a gal who didn’t like me at the beginning of the school year. In fact, she didn’t trust me, and she wasn’t shy about telling me how she felt.
On camera, she spoke of how I’d changed her life…by keeping her on task…by making her read and work when she didn’t feel like it.
These students had noticed the little things.
I just started a new online Bible study, and the first week’s memory verse is from Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.“
You can be sure that the little things do matter, in our physical and spiritual worlds.
And just when you think that nobody is watching, remember that they are.
Your life matters.
How you live it matters.
Never get too big for your britches that you forget this lesson, and never get so down on yourself that you don’t think you are contributing anything.
Because we are His…children of the King.
I love you.
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