Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spirit Week



In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to announce at the beginning of the week to not try on anyone else's costume or props during Spirit Week. Honestly, I just did not foresee the panic I would feel during a 20 minute struggle of getting a stuck football helmet off someone's head.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Priceless

I just finished reading the book Priceless by Joel and Luke Smallbone from For King and Country, and I just want to start by suggesting it as a good book to read if you are in between books. Apparently there is also a movie out now for this book, which I have not seen…yet.

The main character in the book is struggling, but God is at work in his struggles. One of the themes of the book is one my favorite themes of life; God’s plan for our lives includes some of the most painful circumstances to bring about opportunities to share His message.

The most powerful theme in the story is taking a look into the value of people in God’s eyes versus man’s eyes. Instead of focusing on God’s view, the authors delve into the antithesis of God’s view by looking into some of the darkest moments of humanity: human trafficking.

By looking at the antithesis of God’s view, the reader begins to not only clearly see God’s plan in contrast, but begins to CRAVE experiencing God’s love and seeing others the way that God sees them. The book focuses mainly on the value of women in God’s eyes versus man’s eyes.

There are two thoughts that burned on my heart as I read this book. The first is a little personal. I grew up with an amazing father that made sure my sister and I knew we were beautiful and worth far more than we could imagine. Settling for being mistreated or devaluing myself to get attention honestly never even crossed my mind until I watched other people do that. I’m very thankful for that, but I don’t see most girls in that position. One of my favorite parts of ministry is discipling teen girls, and there are times where I become so confused. Why are they trying to get attention that devalues their personality? Why are they putting up with friendships and relationships with guys that clearly do not respect them as made in God’s image? Why do they try to look like the world instead of a daughter of the KING? This book gave me some insight, and I love how the protagonist turned his experience into a MINISTRY. That is how ministry is supposed to be made. God gave him experience in a certain area, and he used it to reach as many girls as possible to help them see the world how God meant it to be.

The second thought that came to me came from my experience in the classroom. This is only my second year of teaching, but the honeymoon period (you know…kids are so cute and sweet and innocent and perfect) ended sometime within the first few weeks of teaching. Some of the most unkind things I have witnessed have come from kids. They show their feelings on their sleeve, so if they dislike someone, everyone is going to know it and there will probably be a fight of some kind. As their teacher I am glad they are so transparent, because it gives me the opportunity to address it. Reading through this book, obviously I do not see the extremes that were talked about in my class, but at times I do see the same worldview of “people are replaceable” in my kids. I took time this week to address it a little bit. We looked at worldview as a scale, and I wanted my kids to know that if they treat people as if they are replaceable, that means they are on the same side of the scale as the antithesis of God’s worldview. By making fun of one of their classmates, they were unintentionally giving their approval with the worldview of some of the most wicked people out there! Our actions choose a side, and we have to be careful to make sure we are siding with God and adopting His worldview. Don’t give into a momentary feeling of frustration and side with wickedness. No, keep the big picture in mind.

The picture that people are PRICELESS and hold something of God’s image in them!


I suggest reading the book. It will hopefully re-light a fire in you to communicate a Biblical worldview of people’s worth to them and others. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Art

Map...feel free to try to figure it out :)

For those teachers still in school, take an art class! I draw diagrams, timelines, maps, organizational charts, people, and random events every single day to aid my visual learners. Apparently, visual learners would prefer their teachers to have a degree in teaching AND art (at least that's what the confused faces imply). 

Symmetry


If you plan an object lesson involving a giant heart, make sure your heart is perfectly symmetrical if you want your kids to take it seriously. Apparently, a crooked heart is too distracting from the main point. 

Ice Packs


Every new teacher should be told to buy a few of their very own, classy ice packs. Apparently, an ice cube in a garbage bag is not viewed very optimistically by students.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quarter 1 Update

My birthday celebration :) 
            Well, I think I’m finally coming out of the doldrums of celebrating my birthday without my family. I don’t think I realized it would bother me so much, but, as always, life goes on! Or more like, life goes gone. I feel like time is flying by at the moment, and an update is very much overdue.
            At school, my class and I have been working hard the past few weeks to wrap up our first quarter of grades…panic! I have been challenging and already prepping my students to be thinking towards their future GPA even though their grades currently do not affect them. I want to challenge them to use this time as practice and as a learning time of how to increase self-control to study and be creating goals for grades. Overall, I am just thrilled with their improvement! In a way, this year is like a trial and error year for them to find out how their brain and personality works together to learn and take tests. I’m starting them off young, but I see so much potential. Also, self-control in the area of making time for school before fun is something that I wish I could have learned before junior high, where I felt like they dropped a bomb on my normal routine of life.
            In other news, one of the missionaries and I began the high school girls’ Bible study group in my apartment last Thursday. I cannot express my excitement to really get to know these girls and study God’s Word together. As with everything recently, it makes me homesick for my girls’ group back in Maine! I’ll try to add updates on how our time goes, and if you think of it please be praying for our group to really connect and be able to not only learn a lot but also reach out to others with what we learn.
To wrap up this post, on Friday afternoon I had my 3 girls from my class over for a fun “girls night in” party. It was so much fun! I remember when I was in 5th grade my teacher had all of the girls over to her apartment. There were a lot more than 3 of us, and I never realized how awesome she was for having us over. I remember we played some game where I had to squeeze myself into a dryer machine. I don’t remember many more details, other than the fact that I LOVED it. As I’ve been trying to get to know my girls better this year, the idea came to me to pass on the fun evening.
We first sang songs, with my not so great sight-reading on the piano. Apparently, I need to start practicing more again. These 3 particular girls have such beautiful voices and really seem to love music! Next, we all cooked our very own individualized pizza. Considering how hungry we were, it seemed to take a long time, but I was extremely impressed with my girls’ cooking abilities. At that age my cooking skills were limited to curly soup (Ramen Noodle). One of them made a pizza in the shape of a cat head; another made it in the shape of a heart; and the last made a circular pizza and then rolled it up to be a pizza burrito. My pizza, on the other hand, was very boring. It was round with normally placed pepperonis: your average day pizza. My roommate, Connie, graciously joined in and also got to cook a pizza, so we had a pretty fun group. We got to pick some fresh tomatoes off of the vine to add to our pizzas, which made the whole endeavor healthy…. We wrapped up our fun night with a quick nail party, where we painted our nails a few times before we found the right color. Their nails looked very stylish! Mine show off my homesickness. I painted them the color of autumn foliage, and my friend Kate updated me that now I can at least enjoy my toeliage while I miss Maine’s foliage.
Overall, it’s been a busy month, and I’m looking forward to parent/teacher conferences and then family fun day coming up in just 2 weeks! I’m hoping that will be a fun update to write, and hopefully I’ll have gained some of my tan back with a solid day of outside games in the sun.



Above are the pumpkin emojis we made to decorate for fall, and then our Challah bread that we ate as we celebrated and learned more about the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.