Children freed from limiting labels

Having a great love for children, I pursued a career in education and spent 12 years as a substitute teacher in public schools. Even as a substitute, though, I was often given long-term assignments, where I had full responsibility for a class. The students in the school system where I taught came from diverse racial, cultural, and academic backgrounds. Teaching them was both challenging and rewarding, and I found prayer to be a great help in meeting the students’ various needs. 

I wanted to support the children spiritually as well as academically to help them realize what they were capable of accomplishing. Through my study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, I knew that man is created as God’s expression, as the first chapter of Genesis tells us: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (verse 26). I prayerfully affirmed that God loves all His children equally. Taking to heart Mrs. Eddy’s statement, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 13), I reasoned that intelligent Mind doesn’t bless some of His children with more ability than others.

There were numerous opportunities to correct limiting beliefs in my own thinking about the students. For example, one middle school class I taught for six months had a few students from the school’s special education program who had been integrated into my regular class. Because of their previous poor performance in school, these individuals had negative labels attached to them, such as “slow,” “undisciplined,” “incapable of learning.” It was assumed that these students could not keep up with the others at their grade level, yet it was strongly suggested that they be advanced to the next grade at the end of the school year, even if they hadn’t done the work the rest of the class had to do. I did not feel right about agreeing to this.

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June 19, 2017

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