Lisseth Castañeda has been a teacher at our school since early 2012, when she stepped in to cover a temporary position. Her daughter, Karina, was already our elementary school principal at that time, and remembers what it was like to approach her mother about the teaching position.
“I was worried because I was still living at home, and it could’ve been awkward,” shared Karina. “We’d worked together, but she was my boss then, not the other way around. But my mom is a very peaceful person, and she always tells me that she doesn’t want to take advantage of the fact that I’m her daughter. She’s always respectful.”
FULFILLING THE VISION
Over the last seven years, Lisseth has proven to be a capable teacher, passionately working to fulfill the vision in the lives of her Grade 5 students.
“This year, I had a student come to school really upset,” Lisseth shared when remembering the first half of the year. “When devotionals started, the sadness lifted from him. I had another student who had been called ugly at her last school, but she told me that since she’s been here she hasn’t felt that way.
“Earlier this year, I heard a girl from my class crying in devotionals, so I approached her, hugged her and started to pray. I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me, and He told me: ‘Minister to her in a spirit of love.’ I felt Him surrounding her, and she started crying again, saying: ‘I want to accept Jesus in my heart.’
“So, I explained to her what it meant to accept Jesus and we prayed the prayer of faith together. She was still crying as devotionals finished and we went to breakfast, so I asked her what was going on. She said: ‘It’s just that it feels like someone is hugging me.’ I explained that God was hugging her.
“That same morning during breakfast, I noticed another boy near her who was crying as well. I went to ask him what was wrong, and he kept crying and crying. He said that: ‘It’s because Jesus was hugging me.’’
PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION
Even though she’s been teaching the longest out of any of our staff, Lisseth’s students often relate that they enjoy her classes. She’s always researching new teaching strategies and doing new things in her classroom. God gives her a lot of ideas and wisdom.
Lisseth recently shared an example of God providing her with wisdom: “I was a little worried about Math class this last quarter so I began to ask the Holy Spirit to give me strategies for how to teach them well. I started praying every morning, blessing each of the students’ desks and asking the Holy Spirit to help them. At report card time, several parents told me that their children told them they liked math class a lot more now.”
A COMMITMENT TO GOD
“Our work as teachers is to model for our students a true Christian life. As a teacher I have a commitment to God to be able to guide our students to be professional, successful and true Christians. I remind them all the time that in order to have a truly successful life, they must put God first.”
“I keep praying for them and their families, thanking God because he takes control of everything, whether it’s big or small. My students are some of the most caring and obedient students and we have a mutual trust as teacher and students. They know that they can count on me.”