By Yay Padua-Olmedo

Just when I feared my next three months would be blah, in came a twist to this teacher’s term-in-term-out routine.

One of this author’s constant refrain heaven-ward is, “Lord, give more teaching and seminar opportunities so that those inspirational books you’ve enabled me to write would find their way into the hands of the youth and those in the marketplace.”

Back in 2003 when I started teaching at an international university, I developed this strong urge to write a book for my students. Having seen some of them struggling to get by, I desired to instil into their consciousness that God’s plan for them is for success, not failure, but that they need the integrity of heart to do what is right by Him. So I started writing.

My late-in-life mission has been to excite young people about their Creator’s wonderful purpose for their lives even as they succeed in their chosen careers.

The current school year came, but I received no teaching offer for term one. Of course there won’t be first year college students! They’ve all been caught in the K to 12 program.

Then voila! My old friend and churchmate, Baby, messaged. “Could you teach Personal Development (the subject I usually taught first year students in college) in our school’s K to 12 program?” she asked. Baby runs a Christian school whose students are children of bible-believing parents.

It dawned on me that this was God giving me a chance to connect with teenagers who are in the faith but nonetheless clueless of the world they’d soon be stepping into―secular educational institutions, and later, professions where they’d be locking horns with hyper-competitive types who will stop at nothing to be ahead of the pack, their ways dictated by a materialistic marketplace.

As someone who’d been there, done that, and survived a dog-eat-dog world where sky-high egos ruled, I knew I could encourage them―to excel and persevere and go up the business ladder or whatever careers they’ve chosen, even as they remain steadfast in their faith.

So I’m blessed to be involved nowadays with a bunch of 16 bright-eyed students eager to take on the world with their talents and dreams.

The best part about this assignment is my front seat view of my students’ motivations and ambitions, even their heartaches and issues, as well as their astuteness at making things work in spite of relationship or personal dysfunctions.

Reading their assignments or hearing their workshop discussions and presentations, I’m repeatedly blown away by the maturity with which some of them have managed tricky situations. Their eureka moments in class have challenged this teacher to just press on for creative ways to keep them in the learning loop.

Wisdom comes from the Lord and He has constantly equipped me with that as I teach.

Laugh out loud moments and fun? We have a lot of those too. One student always regales us with his stand up comic act before his serious stuff.

And they’re all looking forward to our talent day, physical fitness day, project runway day, career day, etc.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

“Wow, I get to be youth pastor or Sunday school teacher twice a week,” I very soon realized. How cool is that?