Like I said I have been up at the school for the past two weeks. This past week I have been subbing for a teacher who has needed to be out for a little while. It is in first grade again and it has been quite a ride. . . I am actually having a pretty good time though. The kids are finally used to me after a week or so under my teaching which I am so thankful for. There has been this one little girl though that has stood out this past week over all the rest. This girl is incredibly incredibly bright, she thinks outside the box, and she is funny. However, she also has a little bit of an attitude to go with her smarts. She always has to have the last word and is incredibly stubborn. Regardless I love her. I think because she reminds me of my mom. Good thing my mom taught me a thing or two about being more stubborn than a kid. We have been working on telling the truth instead of lying this week. Each time she has lied to me for one reason or another we have talked about how you always get in more trouble when you lie as opposed to when you tell the truth, and how I was not "turning her card" because of her action, but because she had lied to me about it.
However, today she turned a corner. I saw in a reading folder she had that there were two scores (from tests she had taken over the books she read the previous night) that were not in my handwriting. They were either the writings of a first grader or a high school boy that helped her test the other day. I asked "Who wrote these down for you?" When she didn't reply I asked her is if was the boy that helped out that day. She said "Yes, he wrote them down." I then told her I was going to go ask another teacher if that was the boy's handwriting." As I started to walk off she turned to me and said, "Actually it was me who wrote the scores down." Now while you may not think anything of this other than "What she did was wrong" this is SUCH A BREAKTHROUGH. She voluntarily told the truth! I told her how proud was of her for telling me the truth! I asked her if her teacher ever allowed her to write down her scores and after a while got her to where she said the answer she knew to be true, "no." We then talked about how we aren't supposed to write down our own scores, but since she told the truth she was not going to be in trouble and to give me a big hug! I was so excited! While I have not done anything special or significant, other than explain why her actions aren't acceptable, it is nice to know that I have made a slight difference. This is why teacher's do what they do.
Another thing I saw happened today. I was walking back into the school this afternoon and saw a mom unloading cupcakes and a present out of her car to take into the school. Another mom came out to see if she needed help and as I was walking by I heard a part of the story. There was a little girl in her child's class whose birthday had been this past week, but nothing had happened. You see usually when a kid has a birthday on a school day the parents will bring up cupcakes to share with the class. This mom had heard that nothing had been done and I THINK I heard her say that nothing had happened at her home either. This mom was relating to this other mom "I just can't stand for someone not to have a birthday."
I walked back to the classroom thinking about this mom and her gift to this little girl, when I run into them again as they come into our building. I then talked to the teacher of the child who was receiving the surprise birthday and she said this mom thought birthday's were special and how excited the child was going to be. I got to thinking about how this mom, whether she is a believer or not was being the hands and feet of Christ in this kid's life. This kid was told by this lady's actions that he or she was important enough to be remembered on a special day just for them. I thought to myself, "How many times have I missed the obvious chances to be the hands and feet of Jesus? How often have I concerned about me and not about getting out there and finding some practical way to make someone's day?" It has been my prayer this week that I would show love to these students (believe me, this happened ONLY because of Jesus. Nineteen first graders (read, 6-7 year olds) can be highly annoying, especially as a group) instead of annoyance, that I would find myself enjoying them, and having a good time while I am there. You know what, I have. It has been an enjoyable week. It reassures me that not all classes will be like the one I had my first go around, and that teaching is actually fun.
This also brought me to thinking about this strapping young dude.
I pray he grows up to be a bright little guy, one who thinks outside of the box, and loves to learn. More than that I hope he grows up to be someone who loves the Lord, loves people, loves his parents, is strong, and thinks of others. However more than ever I realize that many of those things I just listed lie with me as a parent. It is going to take a lot of work on my part, I cannot be lazy and think he will learn to love and respect others by happenstance. I will have to teach him the little things, like it is not nice to roll your eyes at someone because that is very rude and isn't nice to do, or he can't stomp off when he doesn't get his way because that is not honoring. It will take multiple and umpteen explanations, but hopefully it will all pay off in the long run. I also want him to know his mom loves people and to watch out for others who might need a little extra love. No doubt it was another child in that class that alerted his mom to the fact his or her classmate didn't have a birthday. I must lead this by example.
With much prayer and searching through God's Word I believe we might have a shot at this parenting thing. I know we will make mistakes, but we are doing all we can to get things right.