Education


God Loves Teachers

God Loves Teachers


Posted By on May 7, 2012 | 1 comment

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Monday's Mom!

We would like Monday’s Mom this week to be dedicated to all the women (and men) who spend tireless hours planning, preparing, grading, worrying, sharing, guiding, challenging, inspiring, and loving the children who enter your classrooms every day. Please know that you are loved and appreciated!

God Bless, All at Cross Moms

Author Unknown

On the 6th day, God created men and women.

On the 7th day, he rested.

Not so much to recuperate, but rather to prepare himself for the work he was going to do on the next day. For it was on that day—the 8th day—that God created the FIRST TEACHER.

This TEACHER, though taken from among men and women, had several significant modifications. In general, God made the TEACHER more durable than other men and women. The TEACHER was made to arise at a very early hour and to go to bed no earlier than 11:30 p.m. with no rest in between.

The TEACHER had to be able to withstand being locked up in an air-tight classroom for six hours with thirty-five “monsters”on a rainy Monday. And the TEACHER had to be fit to correct 103 term papers over Easter vacation.

Yes, God made the TEACHER tough…but gentle too. The TEACHER was equipped with soft hands to wipe away the tears of the neglected and lonely student…those of the sixteen year old girl who was not asked to the prom.

And into the TEACHER God poured a generous amount of patience. Patience when a student asks to repeat the directions the TEACHER has just repeated for someone else. Patience when the kids forget their lunch money for the fourth day in a row. Patience when one-third of the class fails the test. Patience when the text books haven’t arrived yet, and the semester starts tomorrow.

And God gave the TEACHER a heart slightly bigger than the average human heart. For the TEACHER’s heart had to be big enough to love the kid who screams, “I hate this class-it’s boring!” and to love the kid who runs out of the classroom at the end of the period without so much as a “goodbye,” let alone a “thank you.”

And lastly, God gave the TEACHER an abundant supply of Hope. For God knew that the TEACHER would always be hoping. Hoping that the kids would someday learn how to spell…Hoping not to have lunchroom duty…Hoping that Friday would come…Hoping for a free day…. Hoping for deliverance.

When God finished creating the TEACHER, he stepped back and admired the work of his hands. And God saw that the TEACHER was good. Very Good!

And God smiled, for when he looked at the TEACHER, he saw into the future. He knew that the future is in the hands of the TEACHERS.

And because God loves Teachers so much, on the 9th day God created “Snow Days.”;)

 


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What Do I Do?

What Do I Do?


Posted By on Apr 21, 2012 | 0 comments

Restless, frustrated, uncertain.
Offended, hurt, obstinate.

Wavering caution.
Not sure what to do.

Di-secting, over-analyzing, exasperated. 
Defiant, defensive, ready to attack.

Weighing the consequences.
Not sure what to do.

Not sure what to do.
At the end of self.

At the end of self.

Quiet.

Tired.

Quiet.

Crying for help.

Quiet.

Praying.

Quiet.

LISTENING.

HEARING.

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Humble yourselves, therefore, under [My] mighty hand, that [I] may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your cares on [Me] because [I] care for you.
1 Peter 5:6, 7

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye. Psalm 32:8

Trust in [Me] with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.  In all ways, acknowledge [Me], an [I] will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5,6

Humbled, renewed.

Able to forgive.  Free.

Able to clearly see His path.

Loved.

Able to listen to HIS plan….and follow it.

At peace.

 

Dear Lord,
May we turn to you in uncertain times and fall into your loving arms.  May we grow closer to you.  May we allow you to work in us, so we may become more like you.
Amen.


 

 

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You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2

Okay, so your child comes home and shows you a packet of papers you must sign, describing the project that’s due in three weeks.  First and foremost, understand that the teacher is more than likely using this project for one of two things:  It’s either a tool for actually teaching specific strategies or skills (and if that’s the case, more than likely the project will be worked on at school, too); or it’s a culminating project that is meant to reinforce and practice specific strategies or skills.  Either way, it’s meant to provide the teacher a snapshot of what the child is learning.  This helps teachers decide whether students fully understand the concepts, or if we need to continue to approach the skills from a different angle.

Keeping the teachers’ goals in mind, try the steps below as a way to guide your child through their project:

Step One:  Read the packet/description with your child with a highlighter or pen.
Help them understand their “task.” The Big6, an excellent source for teaching research skills, calls this “Task Definition.”  Help them articulate in their own words what they think the “task” includes.  Helping them understand the expectations is truly the most important way to help them be successful on their own.

Step Two:  Discuss and provide any materials they will need to complete their task.
If it’s a creative assignment where they need to generate their own product or can choose between different choices, ask and listen to their ideas.  Try not to insert your ideas.  Instead, be a sounding board, and be prepared to help gather any materials they may need to execute their own ideas.  It’s amazing how creative our children are, and when they are given the chance to explore and embrace their own ideas, they begin to trust themselves more.

Step Three:  Review or help create a realistic timeline.
Teachers usually “chunk” major assignments for children by creating a timeline.  However, if there is no timeline, take out a calendar and help your child map one out that is realistic.  Be sure to take into account any sports or other extracurricular activities.  This is especially helpful in teaching our children about goals and time management.

Step Four: Check in and encourage them.
Depending on the length of the project and the age of the child, check in with them every two or three days to see how things are coming along. This opens the door for any questions they may have for you, or it can be a good reminder that they have some work to do.

Step Five: Help them evaluate their task as well as their process.  NOTE:  Assessing their process is the most powerful step in helping them grow!
It’s amazing how many points are lost on a project simply because a student did not go back and make sure they completed the tasks given.  When the final product is done, be sure to ask your child these basic questions (It truly helps them self-evaluate and see how to do better next time.)

Did you do everything that was described in your task?  (Have them check off each portion of the assignment)

How well do you think you did?  (What grade would you give yourself and why?)

Is there anything you would do differently?

What worked well for you?

What didn’t work for you?

What was your favorite part?

Step Six: Let the chips fall where they may.
Your child may present a masterpiece, or it may be a disaster, but no matter what, it’s theirs, and it’s important they take ownership of it.  If they have an A+ project, then they will reap the joys tenfold because their accomplishment.  If they have a C or D project, then they will reap the lessons learned in order to do better next time.  Isn’t this what learning is all about?

Shared in truth and love by a teacher.
God Bless.

 

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I loved taking my fifth grade students to the library whenever we started a research project.  It never failed that one or more students would bring a much too thick and much too challenging book up to me and exclaim nervously, “I don’t know if I can do this!”  It was then that I shared with them a wonderful little secret.  Instead of diving into a challenging technical nonfiction book, first gather the basics from a simple children’s book!  It’s an easy read, and it gives you the basic background knowledge you need to dig deeper in the “bigger books.”  At first my students would look at me like I had three heads, but then you could actually see the tension begin to wane as their fears subsided, and a relieved smile appeared as they gasped, “Oh!  I can do that!”

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and I must admit, it was not until just this week that I learned the real story behind Saint Patrick, and you guessed it!  I learned it from reading a simple children’s book to my son.  In the past, I always associated St. Paddy’s Day with people dressed in green, drinking tall pints of ale, and getting pinched if you weren’t wearing green!  So here is some St. Patrick’s Day trivia that I learned from the simple little book called St. Patrick’s Day, by Amy Margaret!

Did you know:

  • St. Patrick was born in England in A. D. 385?
  • He was kidnapped by pirates when he was 16 years old and then sold into slavery and had to tend sheep?
  • Praying is what he did to comfort himself?
  • He heard God’s voice telling him to run away so he did?
  • He was educated in Europe?
  • He heard God’s voice telling him to go back to Ireland to preach about the Christian faith?
  • He used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to the people of Ireland? (The stem represented how the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are united as one.)

Enjoy, God Bless, and “La Feile Naom Padraig!”

 

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can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Philippians 4:13

When your children come home with a major project due, what is your first gut reaction?  Many parents immediately feel like someone just dropped a huge weight on their shoulders because of the extra work they will have to do.  I would like to take a moment, lift that huge weight off, and help provide a different approach.

As a teacher, trust me, we know when a child did the work on their own and when mom or dad did it for—I mean with…the child.  While the product may look stunning, my first response as a teacher was always:  Did the child learn anything through the process?

Now before some get too offended, please go with me here for a moment.

I know all too well how anxious we can get as parents when we see a big project before our children.  We question how the teacher could expect them to do all this work.  We want it to be a product of which they can be proud!  We want them to care about what it looks like!  We want them to have fun!  I’ve been there.  My urge to center each picture just right on my son’s poster made me look like a mad woman!  My desire, especially as an English teacher, to correct every editing and spelling error made me even worse.  Fun?  What fun?  It was a stressful tug-of-war with my son all in an effort to impart my wishes for his project.

You see, all I was focused on was the product, and this ridiculous idea that his confidence may take a hit when he saw how great all the other posters looked. And in all honesty, since I taught in that school, my pride and ego were caught up in how his poster looked!  I doubted what my own son could do because of my own neuroses.

And what did he learn through this process?

  • He learned that all he had to do was sit back wait for me to take control.
  • He learned that Mom didn’t think he could do it on his own.
  • He learned that his best wasn’t good enough for one of the most important people in his life—his mom.

Thankfully, at one point, a very loving person (my mom, who has taught English for over 40 years) threw my “teacher hat” in my face, and lovingly said, “lighten up.”  The project is your son’s.  You’ve already been through second grade.  Now let your child go through the learning process!

I learned my lesson early in his life, and I recognized that I was hurting my son more than I was helping him.  It is truly my prayer that whoever reads this will stop, take inventory, and seek God’s Word for the many examples of His disciples.  They were not coddled.  Someone didn’t step in and do the hard work for them.  They were challenged!  When I think of everything the Apostle Paul experienced, I am floored by the obstacles that were placed before him.  But he DID NOT WAVER, and his faith was made stronger!  The “product” he became was an unbelievable disciple of Christ.  We need to allow our children to experience good challenges and go through the learning process!

 

 

 

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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye.  Psalm 32:8

Think back to when you had an “ah ha!” moment. (That’s how I always described those exciting teachable moments with my students when they grasped a new concept.)  That’s exactly what happened to me when I wrote my last entry, Just Take A Step in Faith.  As I reread the entry for editing, my eyes were opened to see that the same four lessons I am learning with starting a new ministry also apply beautifully to raising our children!  Of course!  God is so good.

1) We will not know how to do everything:  I think most parents accept this as soon as they see that little positive sign on the pregnancy test for their first child.

2) There will always be challenges to face:  All the firsts with my boys come to mind. First time sleeping through the night, first bottle, first words, first steps, first day of school, making first friend, first argument with said friend,  first “F”, first move to a new place, first cell phone…I’m going to stop right there because we haven’t reached the first “girlfriend” stage, and I don’t want to rush it!  Do you notice, though, how all of these challenges (and more) are enveloped with opportunities to seek Him.

3)  We may—no, we will—have a steep learning curve:  I think anyone from GenX (my generation) and prior has the steepest learning curve of all in this age of ridiculously, rapidly-changing technology.  My prior posting proves this point!

4)  But we must remember our purpose and do our best; and when we have done all we can (with His guidance), we must trust that God will do what we cannot:  God has called us to raise His children to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made for His purposes!  We do our best by first seeking God’s will for our children, not ours; by falling to our knees and praying that our children come to know the Lord as their own personal Savior; and by giving our children a foundation on which they can stand firmly.  This is no small task these days, and there are times when we all fail miserably.  I know I do; but we can be encouraged by God’s promise when He says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my loving eye.”

Over the years, with lots of support from wiser women than me, I have finally come to see that my children truly are a gift from God.  He has entrusted our boys into my husband’s and my care; but ultimately, he has entrusted HIS boys into our care.  When that concept really took hold of my heart, my whole perspective on raising children dramatically changed.  I now know my job!  And it is not to take control of everything that happens to them—because guess what? That’s impossible.  We must do our part as parents, and then through faith, believe that He has a plan for our children.  Because He does!

Thank you, Lord, for your life lessons.  Thank you for trusting us with your children.  Equip us to persevere in the many challenges we face as parents.  Amen.

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