Seven years ago was by far, one of the most difficult ones in my classroom teaching career. It just was. No particular reason, just a combination of many things that made it more difficult than some years.
Beginning the year with the annual fall field trip to the Birmingham Museum of Art for the Pre-Columbian Exhibit, I distinctly remember having a difficult time getting the attention of the parents and the students for the “We are about to leave- behave on the trip pep talk.” I called them out, adults and all. It turned into a mini sermon speech.
I. Will. Never. Forget. It.
I remember thinking, “It is far too early in the year to upset parents, Mrs. M. Choose your words wisely.”
I’m pretty sure I quoted our local youth pastor by saying, “I’ll wait until you finish talking because I don’t want to be rude.” Risky approach on a September field trip with many parents who didn’t know me well.
And that’s just what it was for me. A lasting impression that I’ve enjoyed watching the past seven years. The class of 2020 was a group of bold, vivacious, independent fifth graders. They had a tenacity at age ten.
First impressions are lasting impressions.
Those first impressions have lasted. I’ve enjoyed watching these students grow up. Several of them have kept in touch over the years. It is exciting to know that they will be registering to vote and graduating from high school in the next few months. They are the class of 2020.
As we have learned what social distancing is, the class of 2020 has been asked to stay home, finish classes online and they are now facing unprecedented times for the spring of their senior year.
This is nothing new for the class of 2020.
Most of these students were in utero on September 11, 2001. They were born during unprecedented times. They have always been ready for new challenges that have come their way. This week I contacted some of the seniors and asked, “What do you think of the current events right now, spiritually and/or politically?”
Kate said, “It’s crazy and sad and completely out of our hands, but praise the LORD that it’s in His hands instead! I’m sad that we’re missing the end of our senior year, but it’s all part of God’s plan! It’s okay to trust an uncertain future in the hands of an all knowing God!”
Emma hasn’t let this get her down. She is a leader on her soccer team, and is preparing to go to nursing school. I’ve enjoyed watching Emma and Anne Madison continue their friendship even though Anne Madison moved away when they were in sixth grade.
Anne Madison is a leader in her public high school in north Alabama. She was also crowned as homecoming queen this fall. Anne Madison has faced another unprecedented challenge this past 12-18 months as she’s fought for her health. I asked Anne Madison for her thoughts about this March madness. She replied, “Adults always come up to me and tell me that our grade, the class of 2020, is a really special class. I have heard that so many times growing up, but I believe God has given our class unique opportunities to share the gospel and point others to Him, and this is just another one of them!” She spoke of revival and her hopes for the future.
Watch Anne Madison’s video on my Facebook page.
20/20 is perfect vision.
While the class of 2020 isn’t perfect, I do think they have unique insight and vision to forge ahead no matter what is set before them. It has been inspiring to me to watch how they are handling these unprecedented times with a fresh vision that still leaves lasting impressions.