This guest post is by our marketing intern, Corrie Biesecker and her journey through teaching a communications class at the girls’ home.
Nervously, I pressed on the brakes, put the car in park, and breathed in and out cautiously. I knew if I breathed too slowly, the hot day would suffocate me, but if I breathed too fast, I would have a panic attack. My mind was filled with different ways this hour could go wrong. Would they even like me? What if I said something that causes them to be reminded of their past? Maybe it was the nerves talking, but I knew I didn’t want to go in there alone. I asked God for strength. I begged him to go before me.
It was my first day to teach communications at the girls’ home, and I was pretty nervous. Time seemed to freeze for a moment as I walked in the home and met the group. I studied each girl carefully, so I would remember her name and face, especially her eyes.
I will never forget their eyes.
Time began once again and they began to ask several questions. Why are you here? Where are you from? Why does you hair look like gold? Where did your floral skirt come from and could I have it? I laugh now as I imagine my face at the sound of so many questions. I am sure I looked like a deer in headlights or like a lost child in an amusement park. Despite my awkward facial expression, I felt like I was with my girlfriends. Each of these beautiful precious girls instantly became my friends. I wanted to be around them. I wanted to talk and share with them. Yes, I was being questioned a mile a minute, but I desired to answer them. Their presence became calming for me, and all I wanted to do was sit and chat about life, and girly affairs.
I taught a life skills class at the Wellspring Living Girls program about communications. I came as the teacher, but left being taught a great deal. Here’s what I learned:
▪ Girls are girls no matter what has happened to them. These girls wanted to talk about clothes, hair, jewelry, celebrities, restaurants, and make-up. I learned to treat everyone like they are regular people, no matter where they come from.
▪ Creativity is a universal language. I dug deep the last couple of weeks; sifting through ideas, unlocking new concepts, and deciphering the code of “being relatable” in order to have a perfect lesson for the girls. All they really want is to express themselves creatively, and for me to help them do it. Instead of trying to look professional with academic definitions and professor-like activities, I just decided to be me: writing and art enthusiast and critical thinker.
▪ When you feel like you aren’t making a difference, remember whom the difference maker is. I came to the home to teach, but I left feeling like I had a lot to learn. I didn’t think I was making a difference. I thought my words were just hitting their brains and being laughed off because of my youthful appearance and my naive outlook on life. But, God was working through me. At the end of the lesson I asked if I could have one of her drawings on her notes. She simply stated, “No. I have something better.” She ran upstairs and came down with a painting of a small orange flower.
“For you. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher.”
I can’t tell you the value of the small painting, proudly hanging on my wall.