There’s a sign that hangs on my classroom door that reads:

IN THIS SCHOOL:

We do thank yous. We do I’m sorry. We do praise. We do lots of tests. We do laughter. We do mistakes. We do respect. We do happiness. We do dreams. We do peace. We do growing. We do hard work. We do friendship. We do learning.

We do all of this because we are a FAMILY.

Every year as I sit in the pews at graduation and listen to the seniors give their final remarks, the phrase “You have become like my family” is repeated time and time again.

For many of our students, family isn’t a word that necessarily carries good connotations when they first walk through our doors, but by the time they leave they know that something has changed.

They know that when things outside of school aren’t going the way they want them to, that they have a home here at DSS where they are safe and loved– a home with thirty-some brothers and sisters, who might get on their nerves every once and a while, but whom they ultimately love and support through all of life’s hiccups.

Often times I feel like we take family for granted, but to many of our students, the love of a family is a tremendous blessing. As a teacher, it is beautiful to see the ways that God has provided for our students to have a family that continuously points them back to the love of Christ. This unconditional love of a family makes a difference, probably more than we will ever know…

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;”

(Psalm 68:5-6)

Originally written 09/05/14