Sunday, December 6, 2015

Out of the Mouths of Babes


My wife Heidi is an instructor at The University of South Carolina.  She teaches her class of graduate students on the campus of our little elementary school.  At the beginning of each year, her students are paired with mine in an arrangement we call Tall and Small Teachers.  We get together for about an hour every week and the Tall/Small teachers have literacy engagements.  We read, write, sing songs, talk.  It's an ideal situation because both groups learn so much.  It's what Heidi calls Curricular Heaven.  Heidi and I have been collaborating in much the same way for about 30 years.  

At the end of our time together, the Tall teachers wrote my kids beautiful poems.  My kids wrote letters of appreciation.

My children wrote advice for their Tall Teachers as well.  I asked them to think beyond the stuff they should have in their classrooms, and consider who they should be with their own students in the future. I’ll include some pearls of wisdom from the kids' letters...

Be fun, silly, playful and kind with your class. Let them share their opinions... 

Be a great friend and not just a teacher... 

You should tell jokes... 

Always be nice. Never have a paddle... 

Play with your students outside... 

Sometimes be nice, sometimes be kind, and sometimes you have to be kind of mean – but it will be OK... 

Never get too mad at a kid... 

Be yourself because you have a nice, friendly spirit... 

Tell your kids the truth about our culture... 

Let your kids read and write a lot... 

Always smile and joke around... 

Love your kids and they will love you back... 

Never fuss at somebody unless they deserve it... 

Teach your students to respect, be kind, and be grateful... 

Read a lot of books to your class... 

Don’t be rude or mean... 

Treat your students the way you want to be treated...

The kids have insight that adult teachers don’t have. They are students. Who better offer advice to young perspective teachers? Heidi Mills is their most powerful USC professor (OK, I’m biased. But it’s true!). But our class has been compelling teachers as well. I’ll end this section with Trip’s advice to his tall teacher.

1. NEVER USE A SCHOOL BATHROOM WITHOUT LOCKING THE DOOR.

2. Play with your kids at recess. It is OK to act childish at times.

3. Encourage your kids when they can’t do something. Don’t just jabber, “Practice makes perfect,” at them.

4. Be funny and kind. 

5. Don’t lie to them. They can handle the truth. 

6. If a kid is bad, don’t send them to the office. Try to resolve it yourself. 

7. Don’t be the strictest teacher in the school. 

8. Kid around with them, but get serious when it is time.


I couldn’t have said it better myself – and I have 35 1⁄2 years teaching experience under my belt!

3 comments:

The Dashboard Poet said...

Just a couple thoughts:
* How cool that you and your wife have such a wonderful professional collaboration!
* The children's responses were amazingly sophisticated and, at the same time, simple. The theme of "kindness" was repeated and dominate. Our culture is often not kind, and they clearly feel that need. I am glad they have such a loving and kind voice as yours to speak into their lives.

Your post(s) often make me miss my early years as a children's & youth pastor. May your tribe increase!
~James

Steve Finnell said...

THE JOHN 3:5 CONTROVERSY BY STEVE FINNELL

The controversy of verse John 3:5 is that born of water does not mean water baptism, but means natural childbirth.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.(NKJV)

If born of water means natural childbirth, then all babies who die in the womb, all babies who been aborted, and all babies who die in miscarriages would be prevented from entering the kingdom of God. In other words many innocent babies would be cast into hell through no fault of their own.

If born of water means natural childbirth, in other words born of amniotic fluid, then John 3:5 would have to be interpreted "unless one is born of amniotic fluid and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.


John 3:5 in relation to other Scriptures makes more sense to be interpreted "unless one is born of water baptism and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved..(NKJV)

There is no Scripture that states, "He who believes and is born of amniotic fluid will be saved?"

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (NKJV)

Jesus told Nicodemus he needed to be born again to see the kingdom of God. Being born of amniotic fluid is being born the first time, it is not being born again.

Being buried with Christ in water baptism symbolizes death.
In being buried with Christ in water baptism we are literally being spiritually born again. That is the new birth.

Romans 6:3-8 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.........8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,(NKJV)

All men must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

Being born of amniotic is being born the first time, it not being born again.

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Ruth Anne O'Keefe said...

How did your students get to be so smart?