The Challenge, by Carol Daugherty

Hsfumc   -  

The Challenge, by Carol Daugherty

She walked into the school before the students arrived. The dark circles under her eyes were tell-tale signs of a hard week. Life was not easy for these kids, and they in turn did not make it easy on the adults who were trying to make their lives better. The morning started off with children who were to run 4 times around the playing field. This was the One-Mile Club. These boys and girls were in a competition to see who could run the most laps every morning after they ate breakfast in the cafeteria. (No one could run without going to the cafeteria first and getting something to eat.)The kids who were in this club never failed to show up and run. They loved competing: against themselves or against each other. Each time the child made the lap they received a colored stick to turn in at the end of the morning meeting. Some of the members turned in 6 sticks…one turned in 7 = 1 3/4 miles. They only had 30 minutes and yet they ran…like their lives depended on it. In some cases it did.


After the Club Run she headed off to her classroom to get ready for the day. She was the coach this week. Every student in the school would attend Physical Education at least once. There were too many students for them to attend together by grade, so they came in by class. Every day the students went to a different “Specials” class…PE, Music, Art, Media/Library, Technology. She never got the same students twice in a week. But, in a week, she got to know every student in the school and they, in turn, got to know her. When she was not in class she was to help out in two difficult classrooms and then help in the cafeteria. Learning about the kids in PE was one thing, seeing their vulnerability in the classroom was another. She was an intruder and she was not welcomed; she was not someone they could trust. She had to earn their trust and still be attentive and in charge. This did not go over well with some of the students and they rebelled against her. The others, however, did very well and would even give her hugs and high-fives when they left.


The week was difficult and exhausting. The teachers who did their job at this school worked very hard and did not smile a lot…except to other teachers. One could not show weakness here. It was a challenge and one she accomplished; one she will not soon forget nor choose to do again very soon.

What will the future hold? She was not sure. To earn their trust she would have to come back and prove she was trustworthy. Would she?

To be continued…




God bless you,