As a first year special education teacher at Child of God Lutheran School, I found myself flipping through my first case load’s individual education plans (IEPs) thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” I felt an overwhelming anxiousness as I tried to figure out what and how I had to teach my students. Little did I know God had an amazing learning experience waiting for ME!

It takes many hours of observation, teaching, and spending time with my students to get to know them on a personal level. They have so much more to offer than just reading sight words and reciting multiplication facts. As my first year of teaching moved along, I saw the gains my students were making but I also felt a transformation in myself. I now feel as if I see the world through my student’s eyes.

One of my students, Lakota, taught me a few valuable life lessons: Continue to be curious. Do not give up. Be a caring and loving friend. Be thankful to God. Do everything for and through Jesus Christ.

I am honored to be a small part of Lakota’s success story; however, her drive to learn, love for Jesus, and perseverance is really what will lead her to a successful and purposeful life. I will take what Lakota and my other students have taught me to make myself a better teacher for years to come.