Jesus in my Classroom

Our first grade teacher came into the Pre-K room this morning and gave me and Mrs. Sloan this picture.
I looked at it for a few seconds, hoping Jesus had been a good boy in class yesterday and that He hadn’t received a time out from me or anything like that.  It wouldn’t bode well for me to have sat our Savior in the corner.
Even though my first thought of this picture was that it was a wee bit corny, mid-way through our coloring of the letter “B” (B, B, B, B is for bear) I noticed Jesus sitting in one of the tiny, little yellow chairs.  I felt the need to apologize to him for hurrying the child sitting at His table.  “Sorry, Jesus,” I said.  And I wasn’t being silly.  I was serious. 
I kept seeing Him all morning long.  He sat in another little yellow chair next to me while I was painting with the kids.  He laughed at me as I sat squished into one of those blasted chairs (that seem to be getting lower and lower every year) as I tried keeping the paint schmutz off of me.  Even though I have a really cool apron now I still get Pre-K schmutz on me.  He reminded me they were having a great time creating, learning and experiencing yellow, brown and orange (three colors that did not match my outfit) and to lighten up already. 
I’m going to keep a copy of that picture with me in the classroom and picture Him sitting in the front row.  Not as that “All Seeing Eye Watching You,” but as a gentle reminder of how much He loves these little ones under my care.

The Sing Off

Okay, this whole not having a TV thing just got really tough:  The Sing Off premieres tonight.  I LOVED, and may I say LOVED again, that show last fall.  It is A Cappella singing at its best.  And may I also say, Street Corner Symphony was robbed, I say ROBBED, of the prize last season.  Well, Committed, the winners, were fabulous as well, but I loved me my Street Corner Symphony I did.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, and what in the world A Cappella singing is, tune in to NBC tonight at 8:00. 
And if anyone with a TV, preferably one of those big flat screen HD ones, wants to invite me over to watch that would be great.  I promise to keep my critiques to myself.  Well, I promise to TRY to keep my critiques to myself.  I am a music teacher and former A Cappella CofC girl after all.
Question:  Gonna watch, are ya huh???

Who is in Your Flock?

John 10: 1-5   “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
My other “hat” at school this year, in addition to my music teaching gig, is being an aide in the a.m. Pre-Kindergarten class.  Now, having been a teacher for many years I can honestly say that 4 year -old children are my least favorite age to teach.  My favorite would be 3rd or 4th graders.  They are old enough to know how to do things but young enough to not give you attitude because they know how to do things.
Students in Pre-K can hardly walk without falling over let alone walk in a straight line down the hall without crashing in to at least 5 or 6 other children in the process.  I keep telling the head teacher, Mrs. Sloan, it’s a good thing they are cute because if one more of them makes a break from the middle to the head of the line I’m gonna freak-out. 
We have two preciously adorable Asian girls in our class.  One speaks virtually no English and the other has enough vocabulary to get by.  She knows things like, “No.”  She is really good with that word.  Their mothers are the epitome of Asian beauty: flawless complexion and petite little bodies.  I hate them.  They are very soft spoken and watching their little daughters you would think they would be as well.  But, not to stereotype, there has got to be an elderly grandmother living with them.  The little girls will be working quietly, then turn their head towards us and holler out, full force, “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  “My name is Miss Dana, may I help you with something.”   “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  “Yes, we’ve established I’m your teacher, Miss Dana, what do you need?”  “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  This goes on all morning.
On the fourth day of school we discovered one little boy REALLY wants to finish his projects.  It doesn’t matter if it is time to clean up or not, he REALLY, REALLY wants to finish what he was doing.  Or, as he very emphatically told me, over and over, “I.  Want. To.  Fini.  Shit.”  It was all I could do to keep from using my own expletives back at him, but since I’m a professional I refrained.  Not to mention it is a Christian school.
Another little girl was saying good-bye to her friend at pick up time but her friend didn’t see her open-hug-expectant-arms.  Her bottom lip began to quiver at the over-sight so I ran over and offered her a hug.  She looked up at me and smiled and I asked her if she knew my name.  “It’s Mrs. Sloan.”  I said, “No that’s the other teacher.  I’m Miss Dana.”  Her mom laughed and said her daughter had told her that her two teachers were Mrs. Sloan and Mrs. Slawn.  She was glad to clear up the confusion.
Well, my students may not know my name but they do know my voice.  The gospel of John says:  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. I keep that verse in my head every morning.  When they look back at their Pre-K experience, I don’t care if they remember my name, but I do hope they remember my voice.  A voice that spoke kind words of love over them daily.  A voice that encouraged them to keep trying and do their best even if the task is difficult.  I want them to remember someone who thought they were the greatest kid ever even in the midst of being corrected.
Isaiah 40 says:   Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Not one of them is missing.  I may not have children of my own, but God has entrusted me with these 16 kids this year.  Mrs. Sloan and Miss Dana will treat His creations with care…even if it kills us!!

Call 911

I don’t know how the emergency system of calling 911 came about or who created it, but it is a pretty cool system.  Call that number and police, fire trucks or an ambulance will come blaring down the street to your rescue.  With nifty tracking systems they can find your location even if you can’t speak to give your address or tell them what’s wrong.

Yesterday at church, on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, our pastor shared another way of calling 911.
Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Cool.
Sometimes I choose to dwell in that shelter and sometimes I don’t.  It makes more sense to rest there though.  I know that.  But even when I’ve wondered off alone and don’t know where I am, I can call out His name like a 911 call.  He knows where I am even if I can’t speak or tell Him what is wrong.  He knows.
Prayers to our nation and to all who lost loved ones on 911.

Racing to Save Lives

Luci Smith

I have a fabulous friend.  Her name is the name I would have given a daughter if I had been blessed with one.  That name is Luci.  Luci Smith to be exact.  Here’s a little something about Luci.

I’m training to participate in the Nike Women’s Marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line – a cure.
For more information and to help, check out Luci’s website.
Luci and her 2011 6th Place
Portland to Coast Team
Toe-Jammin’

Ooopsie!

Last Thursday night, after decorating our van for the Portland to Coast Relay, I plopped down in my favorite chair only to jump back up a minute later remembering I hadn’t posted anything in my blog that day.  It was Thursday, how could I forget?!?!  But I did.  And here it is Monday and I’m writing a lame post about how I forgot last Thursday.  Does being gone all weekend at PTC count?  Does Teacher In-Service starting today count?  Does that fact that I’m too tired to think of anything fabulous to write about count?  Probably not, but I’m going to fall back on one of those excuses anyway.

XO

Question:  Crap, I can’t even think of a question.  You make one up…