Have you ever felt a prompting from the Lord that He is calling you to do something but you aren't sure what? A couple of months ago I found myself having that feeling and wanted to invest in an organization that could use my skill set during the school day.
I felt clarity about this call when I heard Suzan Hicks talking about how Fellowship Bible Church was serving at Tusculum Elementary, and I wanted to know more. I met with Suzan and learned about the opportunities—like the reading clinics and Parent/Teacher nights, but what tugged at my heart was their need for someone to coordinate the Teacher Appreciation events.
My first event was a Parent/Teacher night, in which parents and translators are brought into the classroom and the teachers explain what the children are learning. I saw how much time and energy the teachers are investing (after hours) and wanted to do all I could to support them.
It has been a privilege to be a part of the teacher appreciation events at Tusculum. Parents at Tusculum are so appreciative for the education and support their children are receiving but do not know how nor have the resources to give back to the teachers. I am grateful to be a part of a community that is able to stand in the gap and provide ways to say thank you. It has also been neat to see the Fellowship community grow as other women are joining in the effort to serve this school. Within a couple of months, we had 40 or so women coordinating efforts to bless these teachers and we formed "Friends of Tusculum."
Friends of Tusculum has hosted various events at the school&mash;breakfast, lunches, teacher goodie bags, end of the year gifts, and other smaller events. We were able to provide snacks every day during standardized testing for all of the 3rd and 4th grade students. It was amazing how snacks meant the most to the teachers. The principal told me that “this must be what a real school feels like.” That broke my heart, but at the same time made me want to do even more. There are many needs at Tusculum Elementary, and Fellowship is serving in so many ways to do as much as they can. Friends of Tusculum serves to support and encourage the teachers because they are doing great work in their classrooms.
I feel like we are surprising teachers because we keep showing up. Our intention is to love and support these teachers through a sandwich or a new dry erase marker, but one day we hope to get to know them personally. My desire is to be there to get to know them and then let God use us to share Jesus with the teachers and the students at Tusculum Elementary. My tendency is to try to oversee every detail, and God has definitely been teaching me that He will provide in ways I can't even plan for—I just have to show up with an open heart, willing to serve.
We’re planning for this upcoming school year and we’re excited to see how God will provide. We have opportunities to help during the day, during the evenings and on the weekends. We want to do life with the staff at Tusculum Elementary, the community at Fellowship, and allow God to do His work through us. Truly we can love better together!
If you would like to get involved in helping with Teacher Appreciation efforts at Tusculum Elementary, please email Katherine Paxton at .