A new semester began last week and I am up to my brain in high school Economics. Unlike the Government class that I taught just a few weeks back, this new semester is certainly going to be a challenge, as I have not cracked an Economics book since college. The class has added more students and all are waiting eagerly to get through this last semester so that they may graduate. Feeding their minds, while keeping them focused when the case of “Senioritus” hits is just one of my daunting tasks.
Worn out after a long day, and wondering how I am going to make Thursday’s class period concise, yet interesting, I ponder what the most important lessons a high school student needs to know before he or she enters the world. What are the crucial lessons that must be passed on this semester to my group of teens? What does a young man need to understand about the world he will be entering so that he may find a career, become a provider, and perhaps a husband and a father one day. What about the young lady, diligently taking notes two chairs away? What will she need to know? What may I pass on to her in terms of Economics and her world that will prepare her for an uncertain future?
Because my heart for teaching really reaches much deeper than passing on academic information, I struggle with knowing what is absolutely vital for each class period. Yet the one thing I will not pass up, is our time of prayer, a devotion that is specific to the context of the lesson and creating relationships with each one of these students. Most, if not all, come from solid Christian homes, where the parents are deeply involved in the lives of their children. Yet I know as a parent, there are times that the voice of another adult can speak words of wisdom into the ears of that child and affect that life for the good forever. So my longing to pass on not just lessons in Economics, but lessons of life and godliness to these young adults screams loudly in my mind. The clock is ticking and I have exactly until May to infect the lives of these kids with goodness, truth and beauty, all in two hours a week.
After reading the post about the young girl who was cyber-abused leading to suicide, it made the need to be relevant and available for any junior or senior high kid more urgent. The world is so much rougher than it was only twenty years ago. It is certainly less truthful and therefore a harder place to maneuver without getting burned. The threat of terrorism, the wars abroad, the corruption found too often in our Government must cause a concern in the hearts of most teens, even if they can’t verbalize where that concern lies. The Web has made the world smaller for these teens, yet infinitely more terrifying for parents and educators. We entered an unseen world when we left for college so many years ago, but the teens of today are moving full speed ahead into a world that is unfathomably detailed with just a click on the internet.
Tomorrow’s economics lesson may not be life altering, but perhaps it will be an avenue of conversation that can point these future leaders in the right direction and give them tools to live in this changing America.