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Kill Them with Kindness

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“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the heart and healthy to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24 NLTs).

“Mr. Ginter is a hypocrite.” The survey form was projected onto a gleaming computer screen and mocked me.

Over 140 positive comments were received in my class, but I couldn’t ignore this one comment. “Mr. Ginter is a hypocrite.”

There were only two days left in the students’ school life, and my heart sank. I worked hard for 180 days to make her 15 her sophomores feel loved and valued and noticed in class. Still, some felt I was a hypocrite. That brought me to my knees.

Between watching the movie and handing out the notes I wrote to all the students, I tried to make amends to this student. I didn’t know what I did wrong. In fact, all year long I thought they liked me and my class. But still, I wanted an answer to such harsh criticism.

With what courage and confidence I had left, I asked them to chat in the hallway.

Conversational clarity

“You mean the year-end survey?” they asked, folding their arms as if they had to defend themselves.

“Yes,” I said softly. We deliver a gentle smile. peace offering. To get this wrong I should have done it.

“Well, I said you were a hypocrite because you said you didn’t believe in giving us a lot of homework. Still, I gave homework so often. You gotta do it.” I have too much work to do and I am very stressed.” Their anger became visible. A sneer of contempt and a clenched fist welled up.

After nearly ten minutes of conversation and an apology (on my part), I tried to understand and listen to them. I wanted to know what had upset them to the point that they called me a “hypocrite”.

power of kindness

I tell this story not to make you feel bad about this student or to feel sorry for me, but to make a point.the point Proverbs 16:24 Beautifully drawn.

Minutes before I chatted with this student, I gave them a separate note. Of course, I wrote it before reading that they believed me to be a hypocrite, so it shines through how proud I am of them. I saw how devoted they attended Bible studies, how hard they worked, and how kind their usual disposition was. Believe me when I say that putting this kindness note on their desk felt like pouring salt into an open wound.

But do you know? I am going to try again.

I don’t feel I did anything wrong on purpose with this student, nor do I feel they were accurate and honest in calling me a hypocrite, but I can honestly say that it probably A moment I will never forget in my life.

Are you careful enough?

I often don’t care what other people think of me (which is fine in the sense that I admit that not everyone will like me), but what I teach I care that my children see Christ in me (yes, I work in public schools, and yes, I still make it known). In fact, at the beginning and end of each school year, I directly say that I care more about my students as individuals than as students in a class. And I sincerely believe so.

Clearly, all teachers want their students to succeed. If all the students in my English class got an “A”, I’m sure the administration would be very happy. I think so too. However, beyond academics, student life is a life with a chance to change for me. And moreover, Christ can change them through me.

Many of you reading this article are not teachers. But I assure you that you can relate in some way. Young people are the next step for the new generation. And believed that I would do anything I could (through Christ) to let them know that they were loved, chosen, safe and cared for by someone who gave their life to know them. Better.

reward for kindness

After this difficult conversation with the student who called me a hypocrite, I felt better in about an hour. I don’t think their views of me have changed, but I deeply regret hurting them and told them that I do care about them and their future. Then, in a bittersweet twist, another student sent me the following note in my inbox:

“Mr. Ginter, I can honestly say that I am very happy to have you as my English teacher this year. Generally speaking, you are a really nice person, trustworthy, kind, and really a great teacher for every student. “Please. To be honest, I’m not the best Christian. I’m not a Christian at all. I used to be and I’m trying to get back to it. I’m grateful for that.” From the very beginning of the school year you told us you were a Christian and we know that you are in a way very lively, the most lively person I have ever seen So I started going to church.I just want to say thank you.I will never forget you.”

*This memo has been redacted to protect student identity and privacy.

I held back my tears.

“Thank you, God.” That was all that came out of my mouth.

It’s been a week since I read these two notes, and my heart is still the same. I am honored to teach a student who called me a hypocrite. and I am very honored to be able to teach those who said they would never forget me. They are both young men who came into my classroom nearly a year ago not knowing what the world would be like, and I still hope they will both achieve their greatest success as they grow and mature. hoping.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my four years as a teacher, it’s:

Teenagers won’t remember the stunning outfits you put together every day.

They will remember the day you came to class sick or accidentally set a book on fire and had to report it to the principal.

Teenagers will not remember the regulated assessments they were forced to use to measure quality student data or prepare for state exams.

But they will remember the humor you used to make fun of yourself while getting ready along the way.

Teenagers don’t remember all the grammar, books, and vocabulary you memorize, no matter how interesting or fun you are.

But teens will always remember how much time you spent listening to them during the day, whether it’s five seconds or five minutes. They will always remember the laughter you shared, the kindness you offered, and the love you gave endlessly, whether they liked you or your class.

why? Because the kindness, love, and laughter you give them comes from the source of life, love, and gratitude that resides within you. We can only give what has already been given, so why should we withhold that immeasurable gift?

During my many years as a teacher, I have had many questions. I still want to write full time, so spending all my energy on teaching is exhausting on most days. But during this season, I am reminded of God and His faithfulness to me.

in a gentle smile

in shared laughter.

in chat.

in serious conversation.

and even in feces.

Especially the bastards who like to wreak havoc on an already difficult day.

why? For while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. And that means the Lord died for each one of these children too (probably most of them don’t know Him).

So I’m going to die to myself while teaching. I’m going to die for any comment, kind or not. Jesus “killed” his enemies out of kindness, not for malice, revenge, or superiority, but so that they might one day establish a relationship with Him. Why shouldn’t I be happy to do the same?

agape, amber

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Metkalova

Amber Ginter's headshotAmber Ginter She is a young adult author currently working as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has a passionate desire to impact the world for Jesus through her love of writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and service. I have. Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the gospel through her writing, her aesthetic worship arts, and her volunteer work. She is enrolled in the YWW Author Conservatory to become a full-time author and is also a featured author on Crosswalk. i believe, Salem Web Network, The Revelation, Daughter of Delight, Kalos, Uncarded Passion, No Small Life, Darling Magazine. He has also contributed to Called Christian Writers, Southern Ohio Today News, Ohio Christian University, and The Circleville Herald.visit her website amberinter.com.

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