From the Classroom to the Lunchroom

Do you remember your high school lunchroom? It’s an amazing place. A clash of cultures takes place between the four walls of the cafeteria. Tables of peer groups ostracize other tables, deciding that socializing with one table would be too risky, too uncomforable, or unnecessary. It can be a tough place. But, it’s also an encouraging place as you see real friendship lived out.

Last week, I taught health classes for two days at Edina High School in Edina, Minnesota. I typically teach at EHS eight times a year, speaking to every sophomore over the course of the school year two times. I brought Kevin Franske, our Senior High Program Assistant with me to get a feel for what it is like to teach in a public high school setting. He had a chance to teach part of my lesson, and it was so fun to watch him take his turn in front of the class.

After teaching, we ate lunch in the EHS cafeteria. We were both flooded with memories about how tough it was to be a high school student. Maybe you remember . . .

Do you remember what it felt like to walk into your high school cafeteria for the first time?

Do you remember a lunch lady?

Do you remember what cafeteria food was like at your school?

Do you remember who you ate with?

Do you remember a lunchroom conversation or two?

My time in the lunchroom reminded me to pray even more for the students that I work with. They are bombarded with a series of challenges each day.

On another note, I received a thank you letter from one of the two teachers that I teach for today. She is a 35 year veteran of the classroom, and I taught with her on her last Friday as a teacher. She is retiring this year. Jim Bauman, our Children’s Pastor at Wooddale Church had her for a teacher 25 years ago. Jim told me last weekend that he still has a paper that she graded because of the positive comments that she left him. It meant the world to a sophomore in high school. How fun it has been to establish a relationship with a teacher in this public school, who is definitely not a Christian. Here is an excerpt of her note to me,

“. . . I am honored to have had you as a speaker in my classes and am most honored to have you as a friend. Stay as wonderful as you are and I will always value our friendship. Thank you my dear friend.”

I share that note because there are so many times I don’t feel like going into the public school to teach. But, going has meant that I can have an impact not only on students but on teachers. When I left her class, the teacher made me promise to schedule a lunch date with her, our Junior High Pastor, and myself. We’re going to set it up, and my prayer is that she will come to know Christ.

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

Ecclesiastes 4:10