Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Motivation, Education, Inspiration

I am a teacher. I have wanted to be a teacher since... well since I can remember wanting to be anything. I love my job. I work at a school where I am supported by a wonderful staff team, an incredible administration and amazing parents. I have resources, a solid education, and am continually poured into by my team and numerous professional development opportunities. I love my job.

Yet there are so many times where I feel the burden of the job. I feel inadequate, I feel fatigued, I feel under-appreciated, and this is coming from someone who feels so incredibly blessed to be a teacher.

Some days it just feels so overwhelming.

I was thinking about this and it hit me: How much more would I feel those emotions if I had no training? If I was not equipped for my job? If I barely had a high school education, let alone training to be teacher? And yet this is what I had to do and I had no support and no resources. What if I was struggling with a student population who could hardly make it to school because of poverty, sickness, AIDs, abandonment. How much more prevalent would those feelings of inadequacy, lack of motivation and fear of failure be in my life? I began to hurt for the countless teachers who do this every single day.

I think about how much encouragement it brings me when a thoughtful parent drops off a basket of muffins in the teacher’s lounge. Something so simple can bring so much joy, and yet there are teachers who never get to experience that. And not only do they not get to experience that, but they don’t even have training, education or ability to go to professional development and find the joy of teaching and learn how to motivate their students to see these results that make teaching so rewarding.

As I have been thinking and praying about this, God has placed a passion and excitement in my heart and life to help these teachers. I want to love on the teachers in Subsaharan Africa who don’t have training, who have never been given the opportunity to be equipped for their job. Yet they are in this job without pay, without support and it is what they have to do day in and day out. I can't even imagine the fatigue and weariness they must feel!

I want to go and love on them and spoil them, for however long I can! I want to show them encouragement while giving them professional development through seminars and workshops. To be able to do that for teachers seems like such a huge need because it is not being done! I have scoured the internet and the research to see what is out there for these teachers and I haven’t found much. UNICEF and UNESCO have initiatives and programs to help make the situation better, but I can’t find much about people actually going in and just encouraging and supporting the teachers while providing professional development. That’s what I want to do!

The vision that I feel like God has given me is to find 4-5 schools that we could go into every summer and build a relationship with the teachers. Every year go in and pour into those teachers and see them grow year after year and develop them in their trade, in order to really reach their students! Reaching students is what teaching is all about. We could go in and teach lessons for a week, but what if I could share my knowledge and passion for teaching and the countless resources that I have at my fingertips? I could give these things to the teachers, and then how much more of a lasting impact would that have on the students?! The students would not just get to experience it for a week, but rather all year long!

I know how motivated I can get from a day or week of professional development, Sharing ideas and collaborating with other teachers. So I can only imagine how much more motivating and inspiring could that be for someone who has never had that opportunity. This is the opportunity that I want to give to untrained teachers in sub-Saharan Africa! This summer I am traveling to Namibia, where only 30% of the teacher have received training. I am hoping to plan a week long workshop to provide motivation, education and inspiration to the teachers at one local school!

I feel so incredibly inadequate. I am only in my third year of teaching, and I hardly know where to begin. Please share with me your knowledge and insight! My challenge for you today is this: if you have a passion for teaching and resources at your fingertips, then don’t keep them to yourself! There is a world of students out there who need them and need teachers with them! If we can equip teachers, we can reach countless more students and change the world!


  1. To touch a life that will touch many lives is a wonderful thing. It is like being a drop in a big ocean and seeing the ripple effect spread out across a great distance. Ripple on baby. Love Dad and Mom

  2. Jessica, this is so awesome. Thank you for being fearless to the calling God has placed in your heart. You sure will honor Him by using the skills He gave you in His kingdom. I will be praying that others feel your calling and will help kids in need. Keep your eyes fixed on Him. Serve on sister