At the age of twelve, I knew I was called to be a teacher. I enjoyed anything involving children. From babysitting to playing with my younger cousins (I was the oldest girl of twenty first cousins) to volunteering as an assistant in Vacation Bible School, children were an important part of my life. I loved investing my time into little lives.
When I was a Senior in High School, I had the opportunity to work as a Kindergarten T.A. in a local elementary school. I was hooked! By the age of eighteen, I knew I would be a Kindergarten Teacher.
Upon graduation, I received a full academic scholarship which took care of my tuition. God was paving the way for the call He had placed on my life. I was student teaching as a Senior in college and of course my Kindergarten class was my favorite assignment. I was going to be a teacher … and the sooner the better.
As graduation approached, I thought God was calling me to be a “light” in the public school, but nothing was happening. I had all of the endorsements, but the doors were closed. I began to wonder what the next step was going to be. The idea of teaching in a Christian School meant some financial sacrifices and yet it just seemed right. I was like Jonah, for three days I went away and asked God if this is what He had planned. I returned with clear direction. I was going to teach Kindergarten in a Christian School. Could it be any better than that? I could teach Kindergarten, and I could also teach about Jesus every day in class. I could openly share my faith and pray with my students in class.
I have never doubted His plan. God takes care of all my needs and a lot of my wants. I have never gone without anything I have really needed. I have learned to trust Him in every situation. He directs my path. I need to follow.
The greatest joy for me is spending my life with Kindergartners. I have students who have gone on to be pastors, doctors, professional athletes, teachers, moms, dads, pilots, musicians, missionaries and CPA’s, to name a few. I have had the unique pleasure of attending weddings and racing to the hospital to meet new babies. I have second generation students now. What a special opportunity to have my students’ children. My favorite question is “ Did you do this when my mom or dad was in your class?”
The call is real! I love my job and there is no place I would rather be. I’m grateful for every day I am in the classroom. It’s the best place for me.
My life verses are “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10) and “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus …” (Philippians 4:6-8). I am grateful for these foundational encouragements which helped me joyfully and confidently walk into God’s perfect call on my life.
So when your child tells you that he/she wants to be a … fill in the blank … encourage the dream. It just might be God’s call on the life of one of His children and He’s designed that child for the adventure.
Gail Newton is the Lead Kindergarten Teacher at SVC. She received her calling to be a teacher when she was just 12 years old. This year marks her 46th teaching Kindergarten in a Christian school; as such, she has used the gifts the Lord has given her to help shape hundreds of young minds, nurturing them as they grow in Jesus. She earned a B.A. in English from California Baptist University, has done graduate work at UC Irvine and Cal Baptist, holds a California Life Credential K-9, and an ACSI Credential.
In her spare time, Mrs. Newton enjoys entertaining friends in her home (affectionately called “The Blue Fin Inn”). She likes to cook and bake. Having guests over to try a new recipe is always a pleasure. A little known fact about Mrs. Newton is that, as the child of a career naval officer, she went to eleven different schools, from New York to California, before graduating from High School. She is an avid doll collector — her collection includes dolls from almost every country in the world and others which were made by family members.
You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.