Story Time- Kids Talk- Well At Least This One Did

The week before school started. I sat in on Kids Talk. It is a time for teachers to meet and share insights on children for example Kindergarten teachers meeting with 1st grade teachers. As I sat in, I remembered my childhood days in school.

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Each year whoever my friends from the previous year were I was seated away from them. I think I got a bad rap. Okay so I may have been a bit chatty, but in my defense, the work was a bit easy.

I would do the in class assignment quickly and then proceed to do the homework problems quickly. I always had good grades. So perhaps I would make friends with the kids sitting next to or behind me. I wanted to know things like what they were doing after school, did they have a dog and other pressing matters for a boy.

In my mind as a child, the reason the other children were there was for me to be friends with them. Sure the teachers thought they were there to learn, but why should that have been my concern. Child logic- fun is important and I wanted to make school fun not just for me. In my childhood mind, they needed someone to talk with. lol

As an adult and a teacher, I can now appreciate the problem I presented to the teachers in my school. I was above level in all skills, bored in school, and was perhaps a bit of an extrovert. They would give me extra work, and I would view it as a race to finish to talk some more with my friends. 🙂

What are some fond memories you have as a child in school?

As children return to school. let’s remember to pray for their safety.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A 5 Year Old Versus 2 Adults :)

I helped with Kindergarten Jump Start at my school a few weeks ago. It gives incoming Kindergarten students time to experience what will happen in school. I survived a week of Kindergarten. 🙂

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One little girl pretended that she did not understand English. She acted shy and would not join in. I spoke Spanish to her and she became clingy with me. My heart went out to her as she seemed to struggle with understanding simple things like where to sit on the rug.

The information for the children who had been in preschool the year before was not uploaded until Friday of Jump Start week. When it was, the classroom teacher for the little girl noticed something. The little girl had been in preschool the year before. There was a note- she is defiant at times with following directions.

So this little five year old girl had fooled the classroom teacher and me. We had a good laugh.

Children are a blessing. They keep life interesting. They can be quite amusing too. But they are vulnerable. I came away from that week with more prayer concerns and a fresh perspective on Jesus blessing the children.

During this time of COVID and concerns in various places, lets remember to be praying for the little ones. They need it now more than ever.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Back to School? Well for 1 Week

How do we view children? Do we see them as ones that Jesus loves deeply? Do we see potential in them even though they act out?

This past week was a fun week with children who will start Kindergarten in a few weeks. The school where I teach in the mornings had Jump Start to give children coming into Kindergarten an opportunity to see what Kindergarten is like before all of the school returns.

It was such a blessing to interact with the children and hopefully I was helpful for them preparing for their big change. Helping with the program also gave me the opportunity to get to know a few teachers better and to meet parents. It was a great week.

One of the little girls made this drawing for me.

She also asked me how she could write my name.

There was a little boy who told me he was nervous the first day. I told him it is okay to feel nervous. He talked to me some more and told me he lives with his grandma because his mom and dad live somewhere else. I noticed be was being a good friend to a boy who has a prosthetic leg, so yesterday morning I told him I was proud of him for being a good friend. At recess he would not let his new friend out of his sight.

As I interacted with the children whose families are from other cultures, I was able to help the teachers understand a few things that might help the children in the classroom, for example why some of the children would see the letter i and it is e because in Spanish and Portuguese i makes a long e sound.

Spending time with little children always makes me think about two things Jesus said about children. In Mark 10:

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus wants the children to be free to come to him. Notice what Jesus did when the children came to him. He took them in his arms, hugged them, and blessed them. Children need blessings from us.

Matthew 18

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

For those who harm children, there will be a day they come before Jesus and be judged. This shows how strongly Jesus feels about children being protected.

Yesterday I told the teachers I will miss the little ones and they told me to stop by anytime. I think I will do that from time to time.

Now if I could just get that song I Can Follow The Rules out of my head. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Other People’s Trash Was A Little Boys Treasure

The things that little boys think as being valuable can be amusing. When I was a boy, I had a collection box filled with things like cool rocks I found, bird feathers, and baseball cards among other things.

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But the 4th of July topped them all for amusing things this blogger collected when he was a boy. It was actually the morning of the 5th of July that my treasure hunt would commence. I would get a red wagon and pull it behind me as I went up and down both sides of my street to collect the used fireworks still on the sidewalks. Sure they had already been lit and fired off the night before, but in my eyes they were gems waiting to be collected and played with.

I would get home with my red wagon full of spent fireworks and then reenact the night before pretending to light off the fireworks along with making the sound effects. I am sure it was a slightly entertaining site for my neighbors. But those burnt out fireworks were a boy’s priceless discoveries.

As I think back on it, what was trash to the adults was a little boy’s treasure.

In the eyes of Jesus, everyone has value. Each person is a treasure to Jesus. We might feel burned out in life, used up, but in the eyes of Jesus, we are worth so much that he came and died for us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Why I Started Daily Showers As A Boy

A few months ago, I was talking one day with the 5th grade teachers. They mentioned they talk to the children after they return from physical education about the need to take showers every day. They do so because when the children return from physical education, their classroom is full of ‘stinky’ children. A dilemma faced by 5th grade teachers that lower grades teachers do not have to contend with.

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It reminded me of why I started taking daily showers when I was that age. Yes my parents talked to me about it. Yes teachers in school talked about it in class for the whole class. But I did not pay attention to my parents or teachers.

In the summers I was on a swim team each year. The summer after 5th grade I was preparing to go to summer camp. I told my swim team coach I would miss one week because I was going to summer camp. He said, “remember to take a shower every day. Swimmers do.”

In my 11 year old mind, that translated into the coach had just told me a secret to being a good swimmer. From that day on I took showers every day because the coach told me to. Of course as a 14 year old I realized it was not a secret to being a good swimmer but I continued to do so because there were girls to impress.

Fortunately we do not need to worry about cleansing ourselves spiritually to come into the presence of God. Jesus does that for us. He cleans us up. Hebrews 10 teaches us:

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

If we trust in Jesus, he cleans us up spiritually.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Special Surprise Before Surgery

This was me in the waiting area at an outpatient surgery center. I had minor surgery yesterday. Something made a huge difference for me. After I was taken back to the room to be prepped, I noticed Christian music was playing. They had a local Christian radio station on.

As I laid in the prep area listening to worship songs, it was a blessing to pray for people. It was the calmest I have felt in years in a medical facility. Being able to listen too worship songs before surgery was a special suprise.

This weekend will be blogger chat Saturday morning in Zoom, relaxing at home the rest of the day Saturday, church Sunday morning, and coffee shop Sunday afternoon. It will be a weekend to take it easy.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Fun in School During COVID

The school where I teach in the mornings has a system of Gold Tickets. Gold Tickets are given to the children by any teacher or staff member who sees them do something kind to others or show good behavior. The classroom that leads in Gold Tickets gets to have the Eagle in the room. Of course even it needs to be safe during COVID.

One of the fifth grade classes is the proud host of the Eagle.

For my part, I try to have a brilliant joke ready each morning to share with other teachers and staff. This morning I let them know the new health directive if a child has an injury playing peak a boo. Take them to the I C U.

As I brought the bananas into the teacher’s lounge yesterday, I found out some are speculating as to what I would bring if the COVID dial gets down to green.

I told them it is top secret.

The moms in my Family Literacy class like to joke with me. Yesterday they asked me how old I am. They laughed as I reacted to their guesses. When I told them I am 22, one of the moms used Google Translate and read to me, teacher is lying. 🙂

We are trying to find small ways to keep school fun for the children and for us during this time of COVID.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Confession Time- I Am A Sneaky Teacher

It is safe for me to make my confession here in my blog because my students do not read my blog. They are still learning English 🙂

My confession- I am a sneaky teacher. It happens, well, every time I teach. I always look for ways to hook my students’ interest. Recently this has applied to the teenage children of my U.S. Citizenship students. In fact, I just did it last night.

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One of my students is a Yazidi woman from Iraq. She told me sometimes her children make her busy, so she misses class. I asked her how old her oldest son is. She told me he is 16 years old. I told her to have him come sit with her because I wanted to talk with him for a minute.

He sat down next to his mom. I asked him to please help his mom by watching the younger children during her class with me, so she can be in class. I also asked him to help his mom practice at home for the test. I could see he was having the reaction one would expect from a 16 year old boy.

So I asked him if he wants to go to the university after he graduates high school. He said yes. Aha the hook was cast and bitten on. I explained to him that some scholarships he can apply for with only a green card but some he needs to be a citizen. That part is true. But this is where my confession comes into play. I know he will qualify for enough financial aid that he won’t need a scholarship, but it is a sin of omission.

I then told him that if his mom can become a citizen before he turns 18 that she can fill out the form to send in with the fee to make him a citizen. His attitude changed immediately. Perhaps Dr. Phil would be proud. 🙂 lol

Hook, line and sinker he was caught. I might have done the same with the teen children of other students in my citizenship class.

I have now confessed but I must also confess I will probably do similar things again often because I am a sneaky teacher.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

We Need to Protect Children- January Is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Trafficking, sex trafficking, of children is a terrible evil in our world. The statistics are horrendous. When I contrast that with the pure love Jesus has for children, it causes me to want to get involved with efforts to save children.

The Super Bowl is coming soon and it saddens and angers me to know that children will be sex trafficked during the Super Bowl at the city it is held in. Perhaps one of the blessings of a pandemic is that not many people can attend the Super Bowl, so less trafficking might happen but it is only this year.

One of Trump’s policies that I hope Biden continues is a war on trafficking of children. So much needs to be done to combat it. When I think about the fact that an very wealthy man, Jeffrey Epstein, was involved in child sex trafficking, it horrifies me.

When I received my end of year tax info for donations to Love Justice, I thought about how I could have done more. Love Justice intercepts children and young women who are being trafficked. They also have group homes for children and young women in different countries for those who it is not safe to return where they came from.

Hero Bands is a small company started by Elizabeth Frazier. She was a victim of child sex trafficking. She began making Hero Bands for sale and donates from each band to organizations the fight child sex trafficking. A person can also pay for a donated band to be given to a child who has been rescued by Operation Underground Railroad. A video of Elizabeth’s story is at the end of my post.

I canceled my Netflix last year because of its movie Cuties that exploited 11 year old girls to make the movie. Each month I can use that money to pay for a donated band with Hero Bands.

Jesus has strong words for those who harm children. In Luke 17 we read:

It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

That is the attitude we all need. In the USA, we need a Federal Law with mandatory sentences, harsh mandatory sentences, for those guilty of child sex trafficking.

At the very least, we can pray for Jesus to raise up more people to fight against child trafficking.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.