Meet Rachel

Following Her Faith into the Classroom

For as long as she could remember, Rachel Hodge has loved children. She spent many years teaching children within her ministry, dreaming some day of having some of her own. But a few years ago, she got a disheartening medical diagnosis: she needed massive fibroids removed, a procedure that ultimately lead to infertility.

“When I was told I wouldn’t have any children, no life after me, I was devastated,” she said. “It was a grieving process, but I prayed to God – and He led me to realize that I had life all around me with the children I teach. He opened my eyes to see that.”

Rachel works at a Christian academy that cares for infants through kindergarten students. She started in the infant room and has worked her way up to working with school-aged children. One day, someone from her local community college came by and dropped off information about pursuing a formal education in Early Childhood studies for little to no cost – another moment Rachel took as a sign from God helping to guide her on her path.

It’s easy to feel inspired by talking to Rachel – she finds the blessings in every moment, big and small.

“God opened my eyes up and showed me that there are children who need me,” she said. “I’ve been blessed with love that I can pour into other children. That love is expressed by allowing my children to have the freedom for self expression through circle time, play time, activity time, classwork time and so much more –the world through their eyes has rejuvenated me.”

Rachel is currently taking psychology classes and is excited to be learning more techniques for her classroom in the art, music, and movement course.

“Eventually, I wouldn’t mind moving into the secular arena of teaching such as in the school system or in a licensed childcare facility,” she said. “I have an associates and a couple of other certificates and with pursuing Early Childhood Education, initially I thought I was just going to get the certificate, but I might as well keep pushing and move towards a degree.”

Adding to the degree she already has in Christian counseling, Rachel is working towards earning her associates degree at Patrick Henry Community College and expects to graduate by the end of 2019.