A couple of weeks ago at my small group we were chatting about going the second mile..You know, the mile God wants you to take after you have gone the first one. We all shared where we think we are being asked by God to push ourselves. Mine was pretty easy. Mine is teaching Sunday School.
For a while now I have dreaded it. I have wanted to quick since just before AugustRose came home from Russia. I used to dislike the curriculum. Then I started to dislike the set up of the program. At times, I didn't care for the children. As a teacher, I expect the children to behave as if they are in the school classrooms, but when there are many children who come from homeschooling backgrounds, it's a different situation. Now I don't want to start a debate about whether or not homeschooling is a good or bad thing. Really, I don't. What I am sharing is that the particular kids in my class a couple of years ago, were clearly not as used to sitting with a group of kindergartners while a teacher takes the lead. So those children tended to be very disruptive. Very. My rotation of teaching each time was sort of a let down. And because we teach two weeks in a row, then take two weeks off, it's hard to have continuity with the routines. I never say anything since I love the director and she is doing everything she can to make the program better. The curriculum is much better, and the flow of the day is much better. Songs and a story/lesson at the beginning, then small group time, then whole group time ending with more songs and a final wrap up. I like this, and since we have more than doubled in size, there are more teachers in each grade level. And the group I have is pretty awesome. (Anna is in my class)
I haven't ever said much about how much I dread teaching. Only to a couple of friends. But I never share it with the director since it is really all me. She can't make a change that would make me say, "OK, now everything is better!" I just want to come and listen to my preacher, sing worship songs, and receive the message. I have viewed teaching as "assisting in delivering the message" and therefore I really don't get anything from it..
But today the Youth and Children's Director was leading the whole group and as our message today was Continually Pray, Everyday, Without Delay, he asked the small group leaders to be available to listen to the children if they wanted to share a prayer. The music played softly and slowly a few children stood up from the safety of their chairs and bravely walked to the front and met up with a leader to pray. A little girl came to me, and with her most serious voice prayed for her dog. He is old and her prayer is that he gets healthier and lives a while longer. And yes, I began to cry. Can you imagine? A child. A precious child who is loved by and loves her doggie so much that she gathers her courage to come up and pray for him? Her parents are doing something very right. I can only pray that my girlz turn to Christ when they are worried.
After this, the kids went to their small groups, and the Y&C Director came into our room. We have about 20-25 kiddos and he came in and just watched. The kids were engaged and participating in the lesson.
We finished up and went back to whole group worship time and then dismissed the children to their families..
The Y&C Director came up to me and said, "I love to watch you with the kids. You have them all engaged. You are really good at this." After 19 years of teaching, that compliment felt just as good as any Principal's write up. I respect him so much and to know that he just wanted to watch me, filled me with joy! And with that, my attitude has turned around. They say when you can't change a situation, you have to change your attitude. So I am gonna. I know there will be some days when I don't w bant to drag my lazy behind out of bed, but I will. And I won't stop teaching to make my burden lighter, since that only makes other's load even heavier.
Pray for an old dog tonight if you get a chance. And if you notice someone doing a fine job, let them know about it. Your compliment just might be the thing that turns their attitude around.