Life
Trouble student change life of his teacher
She had no idea about the story behind of this child.
Kenny Fernandez
09.22.21

Sometimes we come across a story so inspiring and heartwarming that we just have to share it in its entirety. One such story is that of Jessica Satterfield, a former elementary teacher who is now a full time “stay at home mama by day and writer/blogger by night”.

On her blog Grace While We Wait, Jessica recalls one of her many memories from her time as a teacher — that of a particular student during her first year working at the school who stood out more than the rest.

As a first-year teacher, everything was going smoothly in her classroom for several months, that is, as smoothly as things can possibly go when you are thrown into the deep end right off the bat like Jessica was. However, come November, she got a new addition to her class that would end up changing everything for her.

There is always that one memorable student that makes a deep lasting impact, and for Jessica, this new student in her class was that one.

Grace While We Wait
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Grace While We Wait

Jessica writes:

“My principal emailed me last week and said she added another student to my roster. “But come talk to me when you get a chance. I have to tell you her story.” And I replied, “You know I love kids with stories!”

Rewind seven years.

I was a first year teacher. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, convinced I was going to implement everything I had learned in school and saw on Pinterest perfectly. It didn’t take long to realize the goal of the year was to survive. And not let the children kill each other.

And let’s talk about this for a minute. Why in all of God’s green earth, do they give first year teacher’s THE. WORST. CLASSES? For the life of me I will never understand it. Thinking back, regardless of my inexperienced classroom management, that class would have sent the most experienced teacher to her grave. It was hard.

Grace While We Wait
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Grace While We Wait

I made it through October, you know that’s saying a lot, and me and my first year class were finally dancing smoothly together. We had established a community of learners and I felt like they were starting to listen to me. Right when things started to become manageable…

He interrupted our Thanksgiving Feast.

I’m sure she saw the terror in my eyes. The office lady handed me a stack of papers and leaned in to whisper, “The guidance counselor will be in here shortly.”

He just stood there. Looking up at me with his big, empty, chocolate eyes. In that moment it was as if the Lord allowed me for a second to peek into his soul. I knew he came with a story. And I knew I was there in that classroom, at that moment, for him.

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The weeks that followed were somewhat of a blur. I don’t remember anything else about my first year, except for him (and a terrible puke experience. Let’s just say the janitor not only cleaned the floor but handled the situation too).

He stole my heart. And my patience. And my temper. But mostly my heart.

He moved from another state because he had witnessed his dad being murdered. Basically a drug deal had gone wrong, and his little eyes were the ones who saw. He had severe behavior problems. Wouldn’t you?

He would run out of my classroom. Lock himself in the bathroom and bang his head on the door. He would hide under the lunch table. I found it ironic once, that the Special Ed. teacher couldn’t help me get him out from under the table. He would have crying fits, sprawled out in the floor. I literally had to hold him like a baby. After I would finish the song I was singing, he had calmed down enough to get back to first grade work.

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Ilmicrofono Oggiono

For the rest of the year, he consumed me. I prayed for him on my way home. I talked to my husband each night about his day. I went to sleep thinking about him, and he was the first thought that passed through my mind the next morning. How could I love him better? How could He know Love because of me? How could I break through those walls he built to protect himself? And show him that he didn’t have to walk through life alone?

That kid with the story, he changed me.

By March, his little brown hand always found its place in mine. His tantrums still were happening, but he trusted me enough to get through them faster. In May, after MAP testing, I was amazed at his progress. I don’t know how that kid, or all the other kids in my class learned a thing that year. But they did.

Grace While We Wait
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Grace While We Wait

I believe he is part of the reason my children are in their forever family. I always had a heart for the orphan, but after him, I knew I had to do more. He changed me. Forever. He taught me that I was much like him. I, too, have a story. And parts of it, although different, look much like his. Broken. Messy. Damaged.

He will be a big seventh grader this year. And even now, as I type this and think of him, tears roll down my face. He still writes me letters, sends me pictures, and I’ve heard from other parents that I’m still his favorite teacher. My former principal emailed me a video of him performing in the school play, and I literally watched it a thousand times. And cried. God has done so much in him. So much in me. And I still pray that if he hasn’t already, God would rescue his precious heart, and redeem every part of his story.

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So Monday starts a new year. And my roster is all wrinkled and scribbled on. Those names have been prayed for. And I can’t wait to meet the kids with the stories. They make it worth leaving my babies at home.

It’s easy to get caught up in curriculum, new standards, lesson plans, paperwork, and duties. But teacher friends, pretty soon, there will be little people behind those names. Each with their own story. And I don’t know about you, but it’s not enough for me to only teach them. I want to always be their favorite teacher, not because I taught them to read, but because I showed them Love.

That Love. He is always the reason.

And you never know, those kids with the stories, might just change you.”

Grace While We Wait
Source:
Grace While We Wait

Thank you Jessica for the amazing story!

Being is a teacher is a job where you can really make a difference in people’s lives.

By showing her students incredible amounts of love and treating them each as individuals, we imagine Jessica has made just as big a lasting impression on her students as many of them have made on her.

Everyone has a story, and part of showing you care is just listening, as well as doing your best to try and be there for people. As humans, it is so important that we look out for one another. While everyone has different family situations at home, we can all benefit from a little extra love. Really, it all starts by approaching every interaction with an open and compassionate heart.

Check out some photos from Jessica’s Instagram page below (gracewhilewewait).

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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Our words for 2017 were growth and freedom. We stepped into both more than we knew we ever could. We thought growth would look like a baby and a nursery, instead it was an eight year old and legos. But grow we did. We walked into more freedom than we ever have before. Freedom to be who we were truly created to be, sons and daughters. Growth happens from friction, and we had a lot of that this year. But we are walking into 2018 different and changed, never more alive. This year brought breakthrough and feasting, a dream office makeover, a free car, and several gifted trips. We’ve stepped out in faith more than ever, and more than ever seen crazy provision immediately after the leap. Honestly, we’re headed into 2018 a little tired, growing is exhausting. But we’re believing 2018 to be full of harvest. “Do you hear the turtle doves?” He says. The season has changed and we’re bursting with excitement for what He has in store. 2018 we’re ready for you! #gracewhilewewait 📷 @sophie_lindler

A post shared by Jessica Satterfield (@gracewhilewewait) on

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By Kenny Fernandez
hi@sbly.com
Kenny Fernandez is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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