“Oh my God,” I muttered, the words slipping out of my mouth before I could consciously register the impact of those three words.
The small group of third graders I was tutoring at the moment became utterly silent. Ironically it was the first time I got them to actually be quiet and pay attention. Then they gasped in horror gaping at me. Low murmurs arose, “You just said the Lord’s name in vain!”
Backpedaling, I struggled to amend what I had said and regain my place of authority as a teacher. After receiving an admonishing lecture from my students and they had received my promise to respect the Lord’s name, the tutoring blessedly continued.
The words had slipped out in response to a student who had said something inappropriate and in return, I had said something that crossed the line of appropriateness. In fact, my words had broken one of the Ten Commendments. The same Ten Commandments that have absolute rule over the rural Southern Appalachian town I live in. A town where the locals are loyal, kind, and above all God fearing folk.
I knew that learning to be a teacher also meant learning how to filter my words but the filter is not the same in every town, in every school. It was a harsh lesson to
learn but one that I will never forget. That was over one year ago, and I am proud to say that my filter has been refined and that phrase has not been uttered again in the presence of my students.
Image from http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3oc1a3 and http://nancybethguptill.blogspot.com/2015/06/choose-your-words-wisely.html.