Before I left the house, said he, my spouse who loves to tease,
“I know they will be shaking, so don’t let them see your knees.
Your courage wrap around you, and be fearless from the start.
You’re older than the lot of them and maybe twice as smart.”
With such advice did I begin my challenging career.
An English teacher would I be if I could persevere.
Because I loved to read and write, this seemed the thing to do,
But now I wasn’t quite so sure that I could carry through.
Outside the classroom door I stood, prepared to go inside
And wondered if it was too late for me to run and hide,
When suddenly before my eyes some paper airplanes flew.
The noise that echoed from the room filled me with fear anew.
“Are you sure, Lord,” I asked of Him, “that this should be my life?
You know just how upset I get with any kind of strife.”
“Be still, my daughter,” came the words from Him to whom I’d prayed.
“When I am with you by your side, you need not be afraid.”
So marched I in with steady step to be the one in charge,
Though I confess, the task I faced was looming mighty large.
My heart was beating double time; my hands were sweating, too.
It seemed to me I’d come to be the keeper of a zoo.
They were so busy talking that they hardly noticed me.
They had not come to school to learn, as near as I could see,
But I was made of sterner stuff, or so I had been told.
I knew I must be confident and positive and bold.
I cleared my throat and spoke to them as firmly as I could.
I hoped that they would listen and behave the way they should.
Then suddenly their talking stopped, and everyone was still.
I stood up straight and confident and started with a will.
Now many years have come and gone since that first teaching day,
And I can witness that the Lord’s been with me all the way.
Still of the fears I had that day I never will forget.
The boldness that God gave me then is a part of me yet.
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