Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Open Doors

School is in full swing now.
Two days teaching and it feels like it ought to be Friday already.........but not in August but maybe...... say September?

I was a little embarrassed that I have been passing out my little "thought for the day" to each student as they came through my door. I thought maybe the kids would think it was a little lame but I did it anyway. Today I decided that they might think it is sort of fun. After reading the thought today, one of the girls waved hers around announcing that she had heard this one before and this big ol' boy who had pushed past me while the others were crowded around me getting their "thought for the day", turned around and said, "hey, I didn't get one" like I was passing out candy and walked back to the front of the class to get it. My heart sang!

It has entered my mind that is it the personal touch that matters to these kids more than the actual words on that little slip of paper. I think they like the individual attention of one person reaching out their hand to place something in theirs as they are greeted one by one. I went around the room this afternoon looking for the little thoughts expecting to find 85 of them on the floor. I found a total of four in the room.

My thought for the day, "Teachers open doors, Students must go through it."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Make a Difference

In preparation for the beginning of school the teachers have seen a number of motivational and inspirational presentations. One of the inspirational slide shows I watched today was about a young bagger named Johnny. Johnny was born with Down Syndrome. After listening to a motivational speaker who told all of the grocery store employees to make a difference in people's lives Johnny did just that. Before long his line at the grocery store was three times longer than the other checkers. Why? Because he put his heart into his job. He and his dad spent each evening finding and creating inspirational quotes to give out to all of his customers.

You can watch the slideshow online (It is not creating a link here but I will post it in my links on the side.):

It touched my heart when I watched this. Of course, I did relate to Johnny and I do have a soft spot in my heart for those with Down Syndrome but I was so unexpectedly inspired by him that I spent my day looking for ways to make a difference in my students' lives.

Whether or not I will truly make a difference in anyone's life I have found a renewed sense of pleasure that I thought was gone for good doing an old job. I have put more thought in the preparations for my students and have spent many hours finding just the right things to do and say to them. Taking Johnny's lead I have found inspirational quotes for every day of the first semester, printed off enough for the first week, wrote a two or three line welcome to my 85 students to hand them as they enter my door. If a young bagger with Down Syndrome can transform a grocery store into a caring environment I can at least, try to make my art class a good learning environment.

The inspiration Johnny gives others reaches beyond the grocery store. Today it inspired teachers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back to School

August has really been flying by. Teachers are all back at school, organizing the rooms, doing lessons plans, putting up posters and getting their attitudes adjusted to meet the new students who will be coming into our classes on Monday morning.

We have gone through motivational speakers, safety meetings, sexual harassment videos (we are against it) and lots of lots of special ed instructions and other stuff. Hopefully we will soon make the necessary adjustments to getting up early and leaving for work.

It was fun while it lasted but we knew our summer would come to an end.

Six more years!
187 days times 6 minus the 6 days already completed for this year!

(New pics posted on the remodeling)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Right there on the page!

To the ladies in my Bible class and for those whose hearts are open to the word of God.

Just like I said, "I saw it right here on the upper right hand side of the page. I highlighted it"......and it sure was.....but not Ephesians try Romans....yup!

Romans 8:18 (paraphrased) All this suffering we go through here on earth is just not even worth considering when compared to the glory of what will be revealed to us. And if that is not enough then try II Corinthians 4:17-18 which echoes the same sentiment but even minimizes our worries by calling them "light and momentary troubles" and reminds us that the things we see here on earth are only temporary but those things we can not see are the things that will last for eternity.

I could add a lot of my words to this but why should I when the scripture says it so plainly. We just get so caught up with the things we can see, the here and now, today's desires.....

And the next thing to consider is the "quiet life" of I Thessalonians 4:11-12. Define quiet life scripturally.