Almost 2 years ago I wrote a blog called “Today I am a Student”. It was written as we began our DTS in Perth, Australia as students. Aaron and I are now leading our first DTS and today I am the teacher.
I have always wanted to be a teacher. Ever since I was a kid. I was inspired by my Kindergarten teacher, Mr. Blake, because he made school fun. I think Kindergarten was my funnest year…and then it got hard. J In University I got a degree in Education and was off to the races of making learning fun for kids.
I will never forget my years of teaching first grade. I loved it. Was it the wonderful compliments I would get? Or the hilarious moments that would make me giggle into the night? Was it the fact that I could make up songs and belt them out loud to my students and they would think it sounded good? Or was it because I could be creative?
One time a little girl named Amanda came up and said “last night I named my girl and boy Barbie Mr. and Mrs. Barker because they look like you. I smiled as I pictured her playing “Mr. and Mrs. Barker” with her Barbies at home, and boy did I feel complimented!
I’ll never forget the time Vincent, one of my first graders, came to me with tears in his eyes and said “Mrs. Bokker (Bokker instead of Barker) I had an accident.” The sweet boy had wet his pants at school and he was mortified! This was the first time any of my students had done that. I quickly pulled him out into the hall. My compassionate side was about to burst. So in an effort to make him feel better I burst out (without thinking) “Vincent! It’s ok buddy! When I was in 8th grade I wet my pants on someone else’s trampoline!” First a smile, and then a giggle, and then Vincent burst into laughter. I made him promise not to tell anyone!
I could get my first graders to do anything as long as I asked them in a song. So everything became a melody in my classroom. It worked like a charm and they would literally stop what they were doing and listen to anything I would say as long as I was singing. Boy, did I feel like a star!
Why did I teach first grade? Well, for many reasons really. I loved young children and I loved being creative. One of my favorite lessons out of the year was at Halloween. I would go around to all of the grocery stores and ask them to donate pumpkins to my classroom, which was in a low-income school district. Many of my students had never had their own pumpkin. We would do math lessons with our pumpkins…measuring them, weighing them, and in the end making a huge mess by carving them and counting all of the seeds.
Well today I am a teacher. It is our first week of leading DTS here in Kona, Hawaii. We have 33 students, 10 staff, and 2 co-leaders. Among our group of 47 we have 9 different nations represented, an age span of 17-51, 3 families with young children, that means 7 kids, 2 expectant mothers, and a variety of different backgrounds. We have been amazed already by the caliber of people God has drawn to our school. Perfect? No. Desperate and Hungry for God? Yes.
Today I am teacher. Will they tell my I look like Barbie? Probably not.
Will someone have an accident and wet their pants at school? Please no!
Will I speak to them in songs? Definitely not! (Especially if I want them to come back!)
Will we make a mess and carve pumpkins? Not in this school.
My prayer this morning is that the message the Lord has would be clear and that I would be a pure vessel for Him to speak through.
Will our lives be transformed today? Hopefully.
Today I am a teacher. No matter the age…it is the best job in the world.
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