Desire + Opportunity = A Great Job
Last summer, I had been pondering over Educational Success: What Age Should We Focus On?. I knew that for maximum impact, we needed to reach and help children at as young of an age as possible.
Of course, helping young children (especially before kindergarten) means that you need to help their parents or guardians. “But how can we do that?” I wondered. “How can we communicate with and equip parents, for the goal of their children’s educational success?” Even into the fall, I brainstormed ideas with ministry leaders in Allendale, in nearby counties, and in Greenville.
The Door Was Closed
We never got anything concluded and no plans were set in motion. Either we were missing something, or God closed the door.
Have you ever had a burden on your heart that never came to fruition? Did it make you doubt if it was a really good idea after all? That’s how I felt. Since God was not opening any doors, I wondered if my idea to reach parents could, would, or should ever happen.
But the idea of reaching parents stayed in the back of my head, and the desire continued to burn in my heart.
And God had a plan all the while. As Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest,
“God’s silences are actually His answers.”
The Door Is Opened
Throughout the fall, I continued to talk with others (in churches, in the schools, etc) about two things I thought needed to happen so that children could attain educational success — 1) Equip parents to lead their children, and 2) Facilitate community involvement in the schools.
I knew that we needed to get parents, schools, and the community working together. Besides my job in the after school program, I volunteered to do what I could to help this vision become a reality.
In January, I suddenly found myself talking with school district staff about a potential job to assist parents and get the community connected with the schools. Imagine that! The desire I had last year, where I wanted to volunteer my time, God said “no” to. But now, I would be getting paid for the passion I had.
Last week, I began this new job as Parent & Community Liason. (You may remember from my last Job Update that I have four part-time jobs. This new part-time job will be replacing the in-school tutoring that I was doing.)
Through the Door
I am obviously excited about this opportunity. Here’s how I view my dual roles:
- Parent Liason. Though I am paid by the school (through Title I grant funding), I want parents to feel like I am an advocate for them.
- Community Liason. To succeed, the school needs the support and input of the community members, even for those who do not have children in the school system. In turn, the community needs to understand that we are working to create tomorrow’s workforce. (You can read more about my thoughts on Community in 3 Parts.)
But I know that there are challenges ahead, mostly because some mindsets have to change. I’ll write more about this in the future. For now, know that just as parents, schools, and the community must work together, all three must also change (even if slightly) their perspectives, attitudes, and efforts.