Myrtle Beach 2016
This past week, I was able to attend the annual teacher’s convention in Myrtle Beach with my colleagues. The last time our school went to Myrtle Beach for the Southeast Christian School Association, I had just been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. My presentation on ADHD was already prepared, but I would not be able to present that year or even attend because cancer had gotten in the way once again. Instead of enjoying time with my friends at Myrtle Beach, and coming away encouraged and determined to be a better teacher, I was lying in a metal tube singing songs in my head to take my mind off of the reason I was there.
That was two years ago, when we didn’t know if I would even be alive two years later, but I am, and I’m healthy, and I was privileged to have the opportunity to once again present workshops to share my experience with special education in Christian schools so that other schools can do the same.
A friend recently reminded me that you “can’t transfer your passion onto someone else.” I’ve thought about that, and I guess it’s mostly true, however, God CAN transfer His passion onto someone else – just like He did with me.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Proverbs 37:4
In previous years, when I’ve taught workshops on special education topics, my room has been filled with teachers – teachers who were burdened to help their struggling students, but teachers who were frustrated because their administrators and/or pastors didn’t share their burden for opening their schools to children who had learning disabilities or cognitive deficits.
This year was different. The workshop schedule had several seminars devoted to special education topics, and the rooms were filled not only with teachers, but with administrators and pastors. These men and women did not have to be convinced of the need for accepting and educating children with special needs, but instead, they were legitimately searching for knowledge about HOW to do it.
On Friday morning before the last of my presentations, I opened my Bible and read this from Psalm 41:1, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” The word poor refers to the weak or sick, not necessarily the economically poor. When we consider the needs of those who are weak – academically, physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc… we are promised that God will personally take responsibility for meeting our needs as well. Friendship Christian School has seen God keep His promise. Since we opened up our school to children with special needs, our school’s budget has run in the black – in a time when most other private schools were struggling with low enrollment as a result of the poor economy.
The Fun Part
For those of you who wonder what a bunch of teachers do when we’re away from our students and staying at a beautiful place on the ocean, here’s a little insight.
- We spend several hours each day sitting in sessions learning strategies and philosophies for becoming better teachers and improving student outcome. Great speakers get us all motivated to get back to our classes and teach like we mean it!
- We walk up and down rows of vendors signing up for the prize drawings, snatching up freebies and candy from their tables.
- We eat! Too much and not healthful….
- We walk on the beach, play volleyball, and float in the lazy river in the evening.
- Some (not ME!) stay up late by the pool playing games with the many kids who come with their parents.
- We shop at the outlets on our way out of town.
- We laugh and talk with our colleagues who are actually our friends as well.
See you on Monday!