Keep the Change

I see the depth of my humanity at the intersection of my darkest secrets and greatest hopes.  At times I am secretly afraid and yet deeply hopeful. Teaching has unearthed a myriad of emotions.  It has been a place where great joy and great need have collided.  I believe I’ve needed the presence of students much more than they have needed any lesson I have taught them.

Living this dream has been nothing I expected and everything I’ve hoped for.  I didn’t expect exhaustion or gaps in communicating with those I love.  I didn’t expect to see the beauty in becoming a reflective practitioner. I didn’t expect to treasure sound feedback as much as I do.  I hoped for joy filled days.  I hoped that I would not be the only teacher in the room; that I might learn profound truths from the mouth of babes.  I hoped that my discomfort would point me to Christ.  I hoped that I would grow personally and professionally; both have occurred.  A memorable student-led lesson that impacted my personal growth occurred on the first day in the classroom.

InkedMTR Class of 2019 Residents-Vision Prep-0020_LI

“Are you nice?” – 5th Grader somewhere in Memphis

On the first day of school I was full of nerves; all kinds of nerves and this student “had the nerve” to question my kindness?  I should be nervous, right?  It was my first day as a teacher.  However, the candor with which this student spoke during my initial encounter with him was refreshing and taught me a lesson in token vs. true relationship.  My first day attire was thoughtfully chosen. I “carefully” selected a colorful blazer and shirt which I thought wouldn’t cause me to appear too uptight that kids wouldn’t approach me or  too casual that I wouldn’t be taken seriously.  Clearly the student could not easily decipher the type of teacher I was and therefore decided to ask.  Truthfully, his sweet candor never left me.

As adults, quick, unfounded, judgments are made upon initial encounters, and rather than finding out more about that person (as this student attempted to do), token relationships are established.  True friendships are established as we seek to know and be known by others.  Tokenism selfishly prompts us to hold on to a relationship based on what it can provide us and only access it when it has some direct value to us.  It says, “I’ll use this token when I need it.”  It has little care for the token itself, only what it can provide.  Tokens are cheap and so are token relationships.  The first day of school encounter has guided my interactions with students and adults in a new way.  This student has encouraged me to seek to know others and allow others to get to know me.  This knowledge doesn’t imply depth, but rather an earnest attempt to connect with others in an authentic way. This posture of connection with others has caused me seek to humanize others.  It is the start of every conversation and every prayer. Game changer.  This student taught me a lesson in empathy.   For 2019, ya’ll can keep the change.  I’m not in search of tokens.


As a self-proclaimed late dreamer, my professional growth as a teacher has revealed itself through expressions of love.  I thought my first day in the classroom would be love at “first day,” but it wasn’t. In short, it didn’t feel like love, but it felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  And maybe this is love; not explicitly a feeling, but a knowing.  A deep knowing that you are safe and that the reciprocation of the love that you’ve given will be returned without judgement.  I have been loved well by a few in this season. These beautiful expressions of love have undoubtedly reminded this caterpillar that it was made to fly.

There is a love that liberates and a love that feels like it’s always been free.  I choose freedom.  – Queen Sugar

Teaching has been the realization of an unspoken dream.  Dreaming doesn’t actually feel “dreamy” and comfortable, but I do feel ALIVE!  Is it possible that in the dreaming I feel more human?  Does this awakening of my humanity define what it means to really live?    Living in the tension of hopes and heartache.

Dreaming is defined on as an aspiration; goal; aim.

To dream is to hope.  To hope is to live.

I now dream of teaching students more than math.  I dream of teaching them of their inner and outer beauty.  I dream of teaching them how to navigate a world which doesn’t always affirm them.  I dream of teaching them to fly.  Fly, babies, fly.  When loved well, I believe flying is the only option.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12


Published by Precious

I am a proud southerner turned foodie who loves people more than I love good food and a good read. I candidly share my predilections [bias, leaning, weakness & predisposition] on this blog.

4 thoughts on “Keep the Change

  1. That’s deep! I think you are a poet, Precious.

    I miss you and all the ways that you impacted my life. They were not always easy or fun interactions, but they made a huge impact, an amazing, permanent impact. I would be less if I had not listened and responded to your outcry.

    I love hearing about your journey!

    Dale Ann

    On Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 8:15 AM Precious Predilections wrote:

    > Precious posted: “I see the depth of my humanity at the intersection of my > darkest secrets and greatest hopes. At times I am secretly afraid and yet > deeply hopeful. Teaching has unearthed a myriad of emotions. It has been a > place where great joy and great need have colli” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale Ann, I appreciate your kind words and relish the conversations we had. Thank you for continuing to read about my journey and more importantly, THANK YOU for responding.


  2. I have been quietly picking up these shards of your life as your confident vulnerabilty has graced you to share them. I hope that God through you, inspires you as much it does me. I”m glad your ALIVE. Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simone, thank you for reading and sharing a comment. Your words poignantly describe my journey. My confidence has increased as I’ve learned the power of vulnerability, or better said, the power of making my humanity visible to others. I pray that you are well. I am encouraged by your words.
      – Precious


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