I subbed an easy, breezy half day today--three periods, two of which with the help of another teacher and an aide. I began my day with Father Tim's prayer, "Lord, make me a blessing to someone today," because in regard to subbing it is always wise to take yourself out of the equation.
Subbing is a funny thing. There is nothing quite like a situation in which the person in charge has no clue. Fortunately, I've long mastered the art of faking it, so that's what I do.
The periods with the extra teacher and aide were because the students were part of an inclusion class, where a portion of their population requires extra help. I had some time on my hands during those classes, and as I stood around trying not to look completely extraneous, I noticed a few things.
I noticed that the children (8th graders) were not as well kempt as students in other classes I have taught.
I noticed that very few of them could look me, or each other, in the eye.
I noticed that many of them had nervous habits of some sort.
I noticed one girl in a wheelchair and two boys with their desks permanently placed facing the side wall of the classroom. I noticed that no teacher spoke to them, and that they didn't do any work. I noticed that nobody seemed to care.
I wondered if they felt segregated. They sure looked that way. It was pretty easy for me to imagine these as marginalized children, those who, according to Webster, are in a position of marginal importance, influence, or power.
My heart was sad for them, and it occurred to me that these were the people Jesus sought out while on this earth. He hung out with the poor, the wicked, the hopeless sinners, the sick, the downtrodden. The marginalized.
It was then that I realized I wasn't extraneous. I walked around the classroom and prayed for them. I asked the God Who loves them to cover them with His Son's blood, to save their souls and redeem their lives. I asked for peace, and joy, and success in their endeavors. I asked that they would know Love.
I believe God answers my prayers. I do! I probably won't know just how until I get to Heaven, but man, won't it be great? And what a great lesson--Make me a blessing to someone today.