One of the advantages that teachers have over parents is perspective. Parents see their child within one small context- the family- and have little to compare them to except for a few friends and family members. Parents also have tremendous time, effort, and ego invested in their child. That affects how they view and react to their strengths, weaknesses, and actions.
Teachers, however, have the gift of time and numbers. We see hundreds of children over the course of a few years of teaching. We see children in groups with others of their own gender and age. We see children from a variety of home environments and backgrounds. We see every strength and weakness you can imagine. And we see patterns of action and behavior. We see patterns of personalities. And sometimes we watch the children at recess and see glimpses of their future.
I don’t always share my glimpses with parents. Sometimes I can reassure them that their child is normal, or “just acting his age”, or will improve. However, sometimes I see such potential tragedy that I just can’t speak. I pray that I’m wrong and I do everything I can during my year to change the outcome of my glimpse. Many years ago I had a child that I predicted would end up in jail. I didn’t want it to be so and I prayed that changes would happen along the way, but I was correct. I was correct by the eighth grade when he stole his first car.
Yesterday I saw a similar glimpse and I don’t want to be correct. I ask you to pray for a little boy who needs some major changes in his life. I want his future to be as bright and joyful as possible.