Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TEACH (11/29/18)
- TITLE: Ticket to Adventure
By Marlene Custer
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She sat up straighter as her counselor, Miss Harris, inquired, “What have you thought about? What are your interests?”
“Well, I have lived in the same area all my life. I’m ready for something different, some adventure,” she responded thoughtfully. Then she continued, “But it’s not all about me. I want to do something that would be helpful to other people as well.”
Rachael leaned in closer as Miss Harris said, “I’m taking some students to the Employment with a Mission Exhibit this weekend. I would like for you to go with us.”
Tossing her hands up in front of her, Rachael declared, “I’m not a preacher or missionary.”
Rachael couldn’t help noticing a twinkle in her counselor’s eyes as she assured her that this Exhibit was not exclusively for missionaries. “Have you ever thought about teaching?”
Smiling, Rachael rolled her eyes and said emphatically, “I teach Kindergarteners on Sunday mornings. I am looking for something with more adventure than tying shoes and settling squabbles day after day.”
Saturday Rachael had her notebook, pencil, and phone in hand to capture any info that might grab her attention. As Miss Harris had promised there was an abundance of career opportunities displayed. In spite of her reservations, Rachael found herself being drawn to several displays featuring international schools. “Hmmmm,” she pondered. “I never thought being a teacher was very adventurous.”
The group talked briefly with representatives of Rain Forest International School and Rift Valley Academy, both in Africa. Then, Rachael’s eyes were drawn to an exhibit for Faith Academy in Manila. Her heart was stirred by the slogan, ‘Keep missionaries on the field by teaching their children.’ Sadness furrowed her brow as Miss Harris reiterated that successful missionaries often had to return to their home countries because their children’s educational needs could not be met where they were serving. The poster had several bullet points, then towards the bottom it said, ‘And on the weekends learn to snorkel and scuba dive with friends.’
“Wow!” Rachael perked up. “That would be an adventure.”
Rachael’s eyes widened when Miss Harris said, “Yes, I taught there for two years, and learning to scuba dive was a thrill.”
The next exhibit featured opportunities in China. Rachael was surprised to learn that to entice English teachers to come to their country many universities not only pay a salary, but also furnish an apartment. The presenter shared with the group that one cannot openly share the Gospel there, but if a student asks, you can answer their questions freely.
While snapping a photo of the backdrop, Rachael overheard Miss Harris share with another student that she had been in China for a couple of weeks to facilitate an English Corner program. While there she had visited the Great Wall and had petted a panda.
Rachael nudged one of the other students and whispered, “Teaching may not be as boring as I thought.”
Just when Rachael thought she had learned all she could absorb in one day, one more exhibit caught her focus, ‘Ride an Elephant’, ‘Float down the Maetang River on a Raft’, ‘Experience Asian Culture in the Land of Smiles’. Now that would be an adventure for sure. She was again astounded to hear Miss Harris share that she had taught in Thailand.
Rachael put her phone and notebook in her handbag, then turned her full attention to what Miss Harris was saying, “There are a number of International Schools in Thailand, but I taught English in a rural Thai school that was comprised of mostly Tribal children from northern Thailand.”
Rachael felt like her head was spinning. “How do you ever decide where to go? There are so many amazing opportunities.”
Drawing a deep breath, Rachael listened intently to what Miss Harris was saying, “You are not locked into any one place. You can do as much or as little as you decide to do. I consider my certificate to teach as my ticket to adventure!”
Nodding enthusiastically, Rachael exclaimed, “I want that ticket, too!”
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