Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Excuse Me, What?

I have been in church since I was born. I have struggled with my faith at times but I have never once believed that my faith in Christ would destroy children. But apparently according to Christian blogger Matt Walsh I'm destroying America.

The public school system is not dedicated to the destruction of Christian values. The public school system is dedicated to the education of America's children. All of them. Every single one. With any type of institution, including the church, there are problems. The public education system has flaws, we have our problems and our issues. Because we live in a far from perfect and broken world. This tweet Mr. Walsh is not only offensive to public educators, but to the thousands of Christian parents that send their children to public schools.

Mr. Walsh, did you know that the beginning of every school year I pray over every seat in my classroom and the kids that will sit in those chairs, including the ones that might not believe the same things I do? Did you know that buy Christmas presents for the ones that I know might not get presents on Christmas Day? Did you know that rejoice with my students in their successes, mourn with them when they are hurting, and spend many restless nights worry about their well being?

Each day I shower my kids with love, compassion, and kindness. There are days that I mess up and thank God there is grace. Jesus showed these same values too. So how am I destroying Christian values?

I am a broken woman and a sinner. I struggle with sin every day. I'm far from perfect, which is the reason I need Jesus. Every single day.

So your tweet, Mr. Walsh will not change who I am or what I believe in. I will still be a public educator. I will still fight for public education. I will show the love of Christ to those I meet every day. I will give grace because it was freely given to me. Even to you, I will extend that same grace. Mr. Walsh, what are you doing to show those values?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Take The Leap

Each summer I find myself around this time sitting in this same spot. With my computer in front of me, and that beautiful Tulsa skyline out my window. In this spot I wrote my goals for the upcoming school year, revised my syllabus, worked on the calendar for the year, made lists of repertoire that I was looking forward to possibly teaching. This time, it is different. This time I sit here weeks away from moving not only to a new school but a new grade level and a new city. I hope in the next few paragraphs you will accept my deep vulnerability. that you will read these words with compassion and with understanding.

I am so nervous. I am so scared.

This time in Tulsa has been such an intense period of growth in my life. Probably one of the biggest. I moved here as a young 22-year-old girl ready to change the world in my middle school choir classroom. In a few short weeks, I leave here as a 28-year-old woman ready to change the world in my high school classroom. In this season of my life, I have been blessed with the richest friendships, covered in love, and challenged. This is comfortable. It is familiar. It is safe.

I am taking one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever taken. While I am nervous and scared, I am hopeful. I am expecting things that are bigger than my thoughts can even begin to comprehend. Like Friday Night Lights says, Clear Eyes and Full Hearts. Well maybe not clear eyes, I cry a lot.

For weeks I have been telling myself that I can't be nervous or scared. You know what, my students need to see that I'm nervous and scared. Because I'm human, my students are human chances are they are scared and nervous. It is so okay to be nervous and scared. What is not okay? To do nothing about it. I am nervous and scared, but I also I know that I am knowledgeable in my content, that I love kids, that I am the best Meghan Loyd that I know how to be. I am a hot mess, but I have embraced and nurtured those messy corners of my life. Students, especially teenagers need to see this type of vulnerability in their teachers. How can they relate to us and trust us if we pretend to be whole and perfect people? When that is far from the truth, we are broken and imperfect, and that makes us beautiful. Now before the classroom management police come after me, yes teenagers smell fear from a mile away. We must be the adult in our classroom. We must set the expectation and the example, but we must do so with realness and with compassion. Confidence is great, arrogance has no place in the classroom.

I have been trusted to lead students in one of the most beautiful and life changing art forms out there. I have been trusted to develop not only student leaders but leaders from my middle school feeder patterns. It is a lot, but oh for the love how wonderful it is! I thank God every day that I get to do this. That I get to take this leap of faith. I love the Bible story of Esther and who knows maybe this is my "for such a time as this." With clear eyes and a full and grateful a heart, I leap forward. What if I fall? There is someone there to catch me. What if I fly? I sprinkle glitter everywhere I go!

So what is your leap of faith? What is calling you out of your comfort zone? What is holding you back? For the love, take the leap. I'll hold your hand and we can do it together.