Today was one of THOSE days. The day started well—I had a well-prepared teaching plan and I was even caught up on my grading. The kids seemed eager to return to school after the weekend. The day started out normal, but it didn’t take long for things to start going wrong.
The subject today in English was using apostrophes to show ownership. Despite my preparedness, things didn’t go as planned. The kids seemed completely confused. The word “apostrophe” was lost on them. The pneumonic I created (“if there’s many don’t use any”) to dissuade them from using apostrophes in plurals, had a major fault—what about plural possession? Like boys’ or children’s? As the student’s began their worksheet, hands started waving insistently in the air, calling out for help. My patience was wearing thin. I uttered the words that no teacher should say, something along the lines of “Please. No more questions. Just work on your own. Please.” Our mid-morning recess could not have come soon enough.
At recess I was pondering the future impact of my terrible lesson. Donald, one of my fourth grade students, came up and handed me a note. Here’s what it said:
Dear Tom and Mandi, we like your teaching. Sis Mandi is a good teacher. I have not seen one like her. And Tom is a very nice man. We are thankful for the kindly people that God sends to Swaziland to help the farm. We are happy to be with you in the farm. Tom and Sis Mandi we are thankful for the fun things you have done for New Life Homes’ children. I pray that God will make you strong. May God bless you.
What a perfect prayer for me at that moment. Donald, with his simple note, encouraged me and also reminded me that apostrophes are temporary. Helpful, yes—but still temporary. Apostrophes are nothing compared to the eternal promises of God. Gods promises. See, did you even notice?
So today’s lesson comes from a fourth grader. “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promises. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” Hebrews 11:23-24