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2007 - Considering Clay

By Kristina Wessel

Dominican Republic

Teaching is a challenge no matter what kinds of students occupy the desks of your classroom, and at an international private school, countless opportunities assemble in those desks. Here in the Dominican Republic I drive my students to work hard, and so our class trip to an art college was a welcomed break.

Beautiful scenery surrounded us and aspiring artists as we toured painting classes, clothing design studios, and finally the pottery barn. Instantly my students were drawn to a corner where a man was sculpting on the wheel. He threw the clay and as it spun the dirt came alive. Alana and Germán smiled and talked easily with the potter, asking questions about his life. I’ve never seen high school students so mesmerized! Maribel had a sparkle in her eye, and Federico actually went outside to lean through a window to get a better view.

As I took a step back from my kids and watched them consider this man, a bigger picture opened up to me. I reflected on what I wanted my students to grasp after spending this year in my classroom. Maybe it was those “off-topic” questions about life we discussed, those one on one conversations, perhaps even my struggling yet deeply satisfied life, that were all pictured here. I remembered that I simply wanted them to watch the Potter. To see how he gave his only Son as their Savior and how he’s shaping them. The potter dipped his hands into the water to finish the vessel and I was taken aback at how God uses even first year teachers, only clay jars, to share the joy of forgiveness with their students.

The tour ended, but I didn’t push the group on as I usually would have. I paused, took a deep breath, and lingered.