At 6:45 am my students are brushing the teeth, eating breakfast, and making their way to school to start their day as I sit quietly in the classroom with the doors and windows closed and my Bible opened. This is how I spend each morning before they enter the classroom.
I have the privilege of teaching more than just academic subjects. Here at WNA, my teaching career is more than a job, it’s the call that God has on my life. With that being said I try to instill in my students characteristics and habits that are Christ-centered. For example, each morning we pray together for the staff, students, our families, praises, or whatever is on each student’s heart–teaching them that they can come to God with anything. 1 John 5:14 states, “And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” God hears every word that we speak, every thought we have, every desire of our heart. He loves when we come to Him in the confidence that He desires His best in every circumstance.
Once our class is clothed in prayer, we get right to work. In a typical day we cover math, language, reading, spelling, writing, and health/history/science within our classroom. If it seems like a lot to fit into one day, you’re completely right.
Part of the beauty of being a third grader is learning good work habits such as time management and independence which helps transition students into the upper grades. We also learn about being good stewards of what God has given us: our abilities, possessions, and time just as the servant in the Parable of the Talents demonstrated. Being good stewards isn’t always easy, but we give it our best as we learn new and more difficult concepts and skills throughout the year.
Besides academics and work habits, the third graders are tasked with caring for the chickens in the morning. This entails cleaning the coup, feeding them, and putting them away as students head to their classrooms. Our class also helps to weed the garden beds and harvest the vegetables that are ripe. In caring for the chickens and garden, we have the unique opportunity to really see where our food comes from and take part in caring for both animals and plants which is the what God requested of Adam in the Garden of Eden.
As we work together in and outside the classroom, we’re learning that God has made each of us unique and loved by our Creator. We are called to treat one another with love and respect as we work through our disagreements. Our class isn’t perfect, but we are learning each day to love as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.