Education Isn’t Just Academics

What is my job? A question I ask myself a lot and once again was trying to describe to the principal candidate in my office. “I am the Academic Counselor, but if you ask my students, they say, ‘Everything!’”_P7A9379
As the current principal and I were interviewing a potential student to enter Grade 11, he asked, “what can you offer for mentoring?” My principal replied, “That is what Miss Laarman is here for! That is a good share of her job.” The student was satisfied with that answer and went on to say he loved photography. “That is Miss Laarman’s area too!” 
Some days it is fun to count the number of “hats” I wear in one day: teacher, counselor, advocate, tutor, Life Coach, photographer, friend, admissions, tour guide, caterer, travel agent, fundraiser, but most important is an image bearer of God (Read my blog about that here!). I hope through all I do, students see it is done in love, God’s love for them! A great way to show that was at the assembly I was honored to speak at in February. Thank you all for praying it was one of the best responses from students I have seen. I was amazing to see God use me to speak to students. If you would like to read more about it, you can read that blog here.
It is through His love, student’s lives are changed. Today was the last day of regular _P7A1116classes for our Grade 11 and 12 students. Over the next six weeks they will write as many as 12 tests. As I talked to my seniors today about being their last regular day of class, we reflected back to when they started in Grade 11 and how much they have grown. They readily admit they are a hard class but are now able to see the growth in themselves and as a class because we, as teachers, didn’t give up on them, they didn’t give up on themselves. Because of the love God showered down on them through HOPAC staff, they have grown in their faith and for some have become Christians.
_P7A0641I am able to show God’s love here because you, there, support me in your prayers and financially. I know that I and other HOPAC staff are the physical body here, but it is the prayers of many around the world that are changing the lives of our students here at HOPAC. 
I was at lunch with a couple of my students this past weekend when they both commented, “HOPAC develops us academically, yes, but more importantly, they change us into better people! They care about WHO we are and help us grow in every way.”What they said next brought tears to my eyes, “HOPAC has allowed me to have the childhood I never had.” I know it sounds strange coming from 19 year old boys, but what they meant was that they were safe at HOPAC to be completely themselves. They can let down their guard and be safe at HOPAC. It truly is a Haven of Peace for them. 
As we finish off another school year, a few prayer points and requests:
  1. June 1 & 2 I am taking my photography team to Zanzibar for some experience in street photography, marketing photography, and fine art photography. It is a great time really invest in the lives of these kids. Please pray for _P7A8173great conversations and a safe trip. A few of the students are not sure they will beable to attend because of the cost. I hope to ease the financial burden so they can attend stress-free and as a reward for the hard work and eagerness to learn photography they have shown all year. Would you be willing to donate towards this trip? The total cost of the trip is $700. I would love to raise $500 towards the cost.
  2. Pray for HOPAC as we hire new staff and as I transition once again to friends leaving and new staff coming including out principal. I will have my fourth supervisor in 6 years.
  3. Pray for our seniors. This class does not deal with transition as well as other classes have. Many have already expressed their concerns regarding graduation and classmates leaving. Please pray they can focus on exams and finish well while saying good good-byes. 

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