From the archives (2013)…
Meet Ms. Gaines – Teacher Spotlight
Published on 01-07-2013 08:00 AM
by Rebecca Meitler
It’s that time of year again. The aroma of peppermint mocha fills nearly every Starbucks, ornaments on the trees can be seen from the windows, perfectly wrapped gifts (or by this time, unwrapped gifts,) sit underneath the Christmas tree, and snow covers creation like a white blanket. Although gifts, Christmas trees, and ornaments may be tucked away in storage now that New Years has come and gone, some Christmas traditions are not quite finished. Christmas lights, for example, continue to decorate houses in many neighborhoods. Inflated snow globes, glowing candy canes, dancing snowmen, and flashing lights are enjoyed by nearly everyone, especially Ms. Janis Gaines. In fact, driving around and looking at the lights is one of her favorite Christmas traditions.
Ms. Gaines lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She has taught with The Potter’s School for eight years and currently teaches English 3 and Creative Writing. You’ll never guess some of her favorite things to do: reading and writing. She also loves meeting friends for lunch, singing on the praise and worship team at her church, going to the movies, and taking her dogs to the park. Her favorite things include a cabin retreat, pine-scented candles, a drive through the mountains, a weekend with her sister, and connecting with students on Facebook.
Ms. Gaines has blessed many students and fellow teachers in TPS, and TPS has also blessed her in many ways. She appreciates the friendliness of students, faculty, and families. “I’ve also grown professionally by learning various technology and continuing to hone my skills as an English teacher,” she states.
Although enjoying reading and writing may be expected of an English teacher, Ms. Gaines has many unexpected facts and experiences that most people would never guess. For example, she’s a science and history buff, once met Muhammed Ali, uses the tops of her kitchen cabinets as bookshelves, and was in Berlin when the wall came down. She also has the second highest female bowling average for her league and has written more than 50 worship songs.
Ms. Gaines became a Christian at age 14. Her father baptized her in a swimming pool at a summer camp. “Another friend was baptized at the same time,” she explains, “and we spent the rest of the night singing songs about heaven.” Ms. Gaines has continued to grow in her relationship with the Lord. One of her favorite verses is Romans 8:28, “God works all things together for the good of those who love him.” She finds hope by believing the promises of this verse—God can work in any situation and redeem any sin.
Her favorite verse goes hand in hand with one of her favorite quotes. A short poem called “The Bird” by Victor Hugo says,
Be like the bird, who
Pausing in his flight
On limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath him
Knowing he has wings
This poem is a perfect example of faith in God’s ability to redeem and work things out for the good of those who love Him.
I encourage you to learn from “The Bird” just as Ms. Gaines has. Live like God’s promises are true, like He works things together for your good, and like He has given you wings.