How do I begin to explain how blessed I feel, how thankful, how loved? My first week as a teacher is over and I couldn’t have asked for a better one!
I have 15 fifth graders, who all love to talk and love their teacher as much as their teacher loves them. It’s been so fun getting to know each and every one of them. Getting glimpses of their personalities and their hearts a little more each day has been amazing.
We have had so much fun this week! And some of the things they have said and done have been so funny! I taught them how to play “Fastest Tag in the West” and they love it so much! Every day at breakfast and lunch, they are like, “Miss, are we going to play that game you taught us?” And by the end of the week, I’m like, “You aren’t tired of it yet?” 🙂 “NO!” they all shout, “I’ll go get the others!” 🙂
One Monday at lunch, one of the teachers came over to talk to me. As soon as he started to talking with me I see like 3 or 4 of my little girls start whispering, and I know exactly what they are thinking. Sure enough as soon as he leaves, the questions start.
- Students: “Miss, who was that?”
- Me: “The 7th, 8th and 9th grade History, Science and Math teacher.”
- Students: “Is he a relative?”
- Me: “No.”
- Students: “A friend?”
- Me: “The husband of a friend.”
- Students: “Oh….” 🙂
It made me laugh to see them so disappointed that he was married. 🙂
Then the next day, again at lunch…this time 3 or 4 of my boys.
- Student: “Miss, you like those kind of shoes?”
- Me: “Yes”
- Student: “Why don’t you where sandals like the other teachers?”
- Me: “I did yesterday.”
- Students: “Oh…interesante!”
- Student: “Do you like high heels?”
- Me: “Um, not really, if they aren’t too high.”
- Student: “I like the sound of high heels, they are so satisfying.” 🙂
I laughed so hard! 🙂 If there is any truth in the saying, “Laughing makes you live longer,” then these kids are going to add years to my life this year! 🙂
It hasn’t all been fun and roses though. All my kids looovvveee to talk! And they seem to have the hardest time knowing when to be quiet and when to listen. They have an especially hard time being quiet and listening to the Social Studies and Spanish teachers when they come in to teach. I talked with them about it a couple times and then on Friday, right before the Social Studies teacher came in I said, “Okay, I have noticed that you guys don’t listen to your Social Studies and Spanish teachers when they are in here. When she says, “Silencio,” I expect you to be “Silencio! Okay?” So, in comes the teacher and I just am working at my desk but keeping an eye and ear on how the class is behaving. Are they better? Nope, not at all! She says, “Silencio,” and….no silencio. She says, “Escuchen,” and….no escuchen. And then, we hear the bell for breakfast and the kids just start getting up and putting stuff away, but she is not done and hasn’t dismissed them yet. So, I stood up and said, “Okay listen, sit back down, I know we heard the bell but she has not dismissed you yet, you need to listen to her!” Then once she was done, and we were all lined up for breakfast, I said, “Okay, You guys did not listen to your Social Studies teacher today, when she told you to be quiet, you were not quiet and when she told you to listen you did not listen, so we are going to lose a privilege today. At breakfast, we are not going to play today, we are all sitting on the picnic tables, nobody is eating under the trees today and we are going to stay at the picnic tables until breakfast is over.” They all got really quiet and really solemn really fast. 🙂 As we are eating, they were like, “But Miss, I want to play.” 🙂 It was a learning experience for them. I don’t like having to do that, but I know that if I don’t start cracking down on that now, it’s only going to get worse as the school year continues. You could pray for me as I figure out how to best handle these situations in the future.
Every day we have Bible devotions and prayer time. Taking advice and resources from Mindy Meyers, I have decided to do virtues this year. This week we learned about Kindness. Each day I chose a different aspect of kindness to focus on…
- Monday: There is always time to be kind
- Tuesday: Be kind to your family and friends
- Wednesday: Be kind to those who are overlooked
- Thursday: Be kind to those who aren’t kind to you
- Friday: Review of kindness and being kind to our enemies
Every morning after our Bible time I have all the kids stand in a circle holding hands, and then we pray. The first day none of the kids wanted to pray so I was the only one who prayed, but then the next day a little boy wanted to pray and once he was finished all the kids started sitting down and I was like, “Wait I’m praying too.” 🙂 Then the next day a little girl wanted to pray, and this time I experienced something I had never experienced before. She would pray a few words, pause, and then all the kids would repeat what she just said. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t a memorized prayer either because the next day a little boy wanted to pray again and they did that again and the prayer was definitely different than the day before. So I don’t know if this is what their previous teacher taught them or if it is a cultural thing, but I like it. Then on Friday, it was so amazing, I asked the kids if any of them had any prayer requests and one little girl said that we should pray for those who aren’t kind to us, and another little girl said that we should pray for those who are overlooked and sick, and another little boy said that we should pray for our family and friends and another little girl said we should pray for those who don’t know Jesus. So I said okay I want each of you to pray for what you said. I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I felt to be able to hear their perfect childlike prayers. It was so precious and something I hope and pray I get to experience many, many times over the rest of the school year!
Whether these kids know it or not, they are teaching me so much already and are such a blessing to me! The love I have for them keeps growing each and every day. The bond between my kiddos and me began first thing Monday morning and has deepened throughout the rest of the week. On Monday, I did something I had seen online called, Three Things I Wish my Teacher Knew… first of all though, I wrote them a letter called, Three Things I Wish my Students Knew….below is the letter I wrote to them.
There are so many things I wish you knew about me. So many things I can’t wait to share with you this year, but to begin with there are 3 things you should know about me.
I love to play games, have fun and laugh. With kids, with adults, with anyone! All kinds of games, board games, sports, one on one, and big group games. They are so much fun and I hope this year we will have many times of fun and laughter playing games together as we learn!
You already know that I come from a big family with 8 brothers and sisters. What you don’t know is that a year and a half ago when I put my faith in Christ and became a Christian I had to leave my family. I’m not allowed to spend time with my family anymore at my parent’s house, and I don’t get to see my brothers and sisters very often. I miss them so much that sometimes I start crying, but also God has been so good to me and everything is worth it to know Christ!
Last but not least, 5 months ago I had no idea and never would have imagined that I was going to be coming to Honduras to live and teach, but God knew! I will tell you, that I love Honduras! God has made this place feel like my home and I am so happy to be here! I am so excited to get to know all of you and thankful that God put each of you in my classroom. You are going to teach me so much this year! And just between you and me, I haven’t told anyone else this yet, I hope God has me live here for many years!
I then told my students that I wanted them to write me a letter telling me 3 things they wanted me to know about them. I told them that they could write about anything, that I was the only one that would ever read it and that I wouldn’t tell anyone what they wrote.
The letters my kids wrote to me were so special! Some of them shared some very personal things with me. Some of my kids have some very hard things in their lives and I felt so blessed that they chose to share these things with me and I that I can pray for them and connect with them on a deeper level.
First thing Tuesday morning a couple of my kiddos said, “Miss Adrian, how did you come to Honduras? How did you even hear about Guaimaca?” I said, “Do you want to know about that?” And they were all like “Yes!” So that afternoon I got to share with them the whole story of how God called me to Honduras. It was such an amazing thing! One little girl started crying, another little boy said, “That is a beautiful story!” Another little boy said, “Miss, who told you about Jesus?” And I said, “Do you guys want to hear how I became a Christian?” They said, “Yes!” So I said, “That is an even longer story than how I came to Honduras, so that will have to be another day, but I will tell you.” They are so excited to hear that story so I would like to ask for your prayers that God would start preparing their hearts now for the day it works out for me to share my testimony with them. And that when I do share it with them, that they would see Christ and not me, that the Holy Spirit would just take over and show me what to share and what not to share.
I have 15 precious little souls in my classroom full of curiosity and desire to know more about God. Fifteen precious little souls who aren’t afraid to ask their teacher any and every question they can think of about Christ. I found out just how eager and curious they are on Thursday during History. We began our book which starts out with the how the earth began and how Adam and Eve sinned. As soon as we finished reading the passage, they started pelting me with questions. It started with, “Miss, if Adam and Eve wouldn’t have sinned we would have eternal life.” I said, “We can still have eternal life, does anybody know how?” I got to share with them that if we put our faith in Jesus Christ we will have eternal life. And the questions and comments started flowing….
- Does God forgive us when we are bad?
- But Miss, God doesn’t forgive big sins does He?
- What about if someone murders someone?
- If someone gives their life to the devil, then God won’t forgive them, right?
- Is God, God because he doesn’t have a beginning or an end?
- Do you know anyone who has never sinned?
- Miss, someone told me that if you don’t become a Christian when you are a little baby then you can never become a Christian, is that true?
That is just a snapshot of the questions that were thrown at me. It was so amazing, God gave me words to say for each and every one of their questions and I think they were all surprised to find out that all sin is big, and that God will even forgive murder and that I didn’t know anyone who has never sinned because everybody has sinned, and that I just became a Christian a year and a half ago, etc, etc. As all these questions were being thrown at me I don’t know if I can tell you everything I was feeling. It was a surreal feeling, these kids want to know and God has entrusted me to tell them the truth, with His help. I remember thinking, “Wow, what a good reminder of just how important it is to stay grounded in God’s word and to keep my relationship with Him the number one priority in my life!”
I may only be one week in, but I love being a teacher. Words can’t describe what it means to me that God has given me this opportunity!