A Teacher and a Friend

I am a teacher: I tie shoe laces, break up and reconcile fights, plan lessons like a well-oiled machine, find lost snacks, wipe tears, greet students every morning, drink coffee, listen to rambling stories, answer question after question, enforce rules, patrol the halls, and do way too many more things to count. But at the end of the day, my biggest hope is that I am a friend.

It is not customary for teachers in public schools to spend time outside of class with students—mostly due to restrictions from administration or law. This is what makes my job at Los Angeles Christian Schools (LACS) so much fun! There is much freedom, and we are actually encouraged to spend time with our students and their families outside of school. After they move on to high schools around Los Angeles, many of our graduated students say they really miss quality time with their LACS teachers.

I am thankful to have these opportunities to spend time with my little ones. Recently, we received free tickets to several UCLA sporting events. The girls in my class had been talking for a while about how much they love gymnastics. One even said at the beginning of the school year that her dream job would be a gymnastics instructor. Sadly, none of them had ever been able to watch a gymnastics meet in person. When I saw that one of the available events was for UCLA gymnastics, I snatched up the tickets right away.

The girls were ecstatic! As parents dropped the girls off, a similar story was told: their daughters climbed out of bed that morning immediately wondering if it was time to go to the gymnastics meet. Unfortunately, it did not start until 6:00 p.m.! As we sat in the huge arena, I smiled the whole time at their gasps and marveling and curiosity and questions—oh, the questions! This age is so beautiful. The world is still so new, and they are so moldable. I pray that the friendship I have with them is a tangible reminder of the amazing friendship that the Lord offers us as His children. I know theyremind me of this truth every day.

Jennifer Hammond is a Kindergarten teacher at Los Angeles Christian School.