There are no walls, and most people won’t even know that it is there, but there is a special room hidden within every effective classroom. While most students are healthy in mind and spirit, a few have problems and will need special care to become successful, and a select few may even need to be checked in to my intensive care center. Let me take you on a tour.
It’s not very pretty here, but to some of my former students, it holds many fond memories. This is a battlefield for the lives of the young people I serve.
To the left, you’ll see several students on Life Support. Some have arrived Academic DOA, but as long as I can keep the heart beating, there’s hope.
On the right, are the Unconscious. They come in various comas. Some have no home-life; some are victims of abuse or neglect; some have genetic flaws; some have just been told that they are “no good” for so long that they believe it themselves.
Over in the center are the Basket-Cases. These invalids have to be bottle-fed, and I might even have to change their diapers. It is a lot of trouble, and some would say they are not worth it. There are those even in our teacher ranks, who like abortionists, would cut the cord and save all the trouble and expense for the inevitable. I know there are other patients to be seen, so I plead for God to give me the strength to help the not-so-sick and still have the love and energy to help these within this ward. I see the face of their parents who don’t know what to do or their own faces looking for someone to give them some faint hope. You won’t see the symptoms if you don’t look closely, for they hide them under ignorance, fear, anger, or even complacence. Treatments can be painful, for me and for them. Sometimes they bite the hand that binds their wounds. Other times in delirium, they curse the very ones who would cause the cure.
Our facility is well equipped. We have every modern tool that money can buy for their aid, but I find it is not the tools we use, but the care they receive that causes them to recover. The statistics are dim; most in this ward will be casualties. It doesn’t happen very often, but once in a while, with the help of the Great Physician, against all odds, one of these comes back to life. One of them is now a youth pastor, another is a deacon, another is a good housewife and mother. It really doesn’t make any difference why they are here, they need someone to believe they can recover, they can be successful, they can make a difference in their own future and the future of those around them. I know I’ll be criticized for CPR long after the monitor says they are dead, but I am a teacher-doctor. My job is to give life, not take it away. My job is to do everything I can to bring them back to life. Every day is one more opportunity to see them turn around. As long as they are in my care, I will not let go. Recently one apparently died and then miraculously came back to life a week later. He is still very weak and not likely to survive; but, thank the Lord, I get another chance. One has been a basket-case almost his entire life. I know it is his own fault. I should just let him go, but I view every day as one last chance to see him thrive. As long as he is in this classroom-hospital, there is that small, infinitesimal chance that he could turn around and thrive. Anyone can watch them die; I chose to help them live. I hope you do too.
Dedicated to the teachers everywhere that “dare to care.” Tell me about some of your successful intensive care endeavors by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jim Carey was the first staff member hired by Pastor Trieber in 1976. For over 40 years, he has served in many capacities. He has taught in the Christian school since its inception and has taught junior church every Sunday for that entire time as well.