Reflections on the 2016-2017 School Year

As I sit here in my house typing this, it still has not quite hit me that the last day of school has come and gone.  Is it true that the children that I have grown to love will no longer walk into my classroom as my children?  Did they really say good-bye?  Probably when I go to school on Monday, and I see the empty classroom, it will then truly hit me.

For now though, I’m going to share some of my favorite memories from this year.

  • At the start of the year, we did a simple baking soda and vinegar experiment with a balloon.  The children were so excited and squealing in delight.  I was thrilled with their excitement for learning.
  • The children did the research and figured out exactly what we needed to have crickets survive.  We even had a parent come in and share her own knowledge about crickets.  We went to Pets Mart, picked up our crickets, and built little habitats.  Most of the crickets actually survived (unlike in previous years) so that we could donate the crickets to the nature program at Triple R Ranch.
  • A child, one day, told me that reading was boring.  I gave some encouraging words and suggested some books, which he did not show interest in.  Later, I began a whole group lesson, and this child was reading.  I jokingly said, “Wow!  If you think reading is boring and you prefer reading to listening to me, I must be super boring!”  The child smiled and said this was not the case.  Meanwhile, the rest of the class assured me through words and hugs that I was not boring.
  • A child told me she wanted to be a fourth grade teacher
  • On my birthday, the children created a giant card for me without me knowing (or at least I pretended I didn’t know what they were making) and took it around to the whole school to get everyone to sign it.  They even made me a crown as they presented the card to me.
  • When learning about geometry, the children asked if they could create a dance to help them remember.  They came up with some very creative dances.
  • The children drew me so many wonderful and beautiful pictures that I will keep.
  • On ugly Christmas sweater day, every single child came to school decked out in their ugly Christmas sweater; some had even made their own ugly sweater with random Christmas decorations.
  • The first time that we launched the trebuchets, they were rather unimpressive.  I tweaked them, and then the next day, I shocked the children when the trebuchet launched across the room.
  • The children’s creativity constantly surprised me whether their movie project, their problem solving, or their artistic abilities.
  • We had a medieval feast for our movie.  The children were so excited, and they loved that the feast included a boar’s head and other authentic medieval food.
  • Our field trip to Colonial Williamsburg was a lot of fun.  Throughout the rest of the school year, the children kept referring back to what they had learned there, especially the printing press that they saw in action.
  • Each of the children met the requirements to become knights.  I watched so proudly as our principal dubbed them into knighthood.
  • Then, there was the day that we studied the Black Death. I had told the kids that I was not feeling well and so would likely not be with them after lunch.  Mrs. Stephens came in and reviewed what we had talked about the previous day.  Then, she revealed that her hand was starting to turn black.  The children started rustling in horror.  Mrs. Stephens then said that they should call the doctor.  One child ran out of the room to get the nurse.  He then saw me dressed as the Black Death doctor.  He walked back in and said, “Uh…there’s a creepy man outside.”  I then walked in, and the children started screaming.  Some even went and locked themselves in the closet.  Mrs. Stephens gently explained that the doctor was here to help her with the Black Death (which the children later figured out was black paint).  Later, the children told me that they figured out it was me.  They claimed it was my shoes even though I went out of my way to make sure I wore completely different shoes.
  • At their final event, they mingled with the parents and shared their wealth of knowledge as the parents had to create a newscast.  I was so proud as I watched them get excited about all they had learned.  Thank you to all the family members who helped us out and made this little video below possible!
  • A child started asking more questions about God.
  • After studying the Roman Road, a child asked to accept Jesus as his Savior.
  • A child announced to the class in a very excited way that his brother had gotten saved over the weekend.  The rest of the class cheered.
  • During morning meeting, a child announced that she had gotten saved over the weekend and was going to be baptized.
  • A child shared her journal about God to the class.
  • While studying about trusting God, one child shared something very personal that allowed her to trust God more.  This encouraged others to share about how they had seen God work in their own lives.
  • Everyday, a different child would ask to pray.  Their prayers were so genuine as they brought the sometimes simple sometimes deeper prayer requests to God.
  • While studying Hebrews, I told the children that no one knew who had written this book of the Bible.  One child eagerly requested that they do research to try and figure it out.  The rest of the class eagerly agreed.  Without me guiding them, they used deductive reasoning to rule out various people because that person had died before the book was supposedly written. They also read portions of the book to determine themes.
  • The children shared with each other how to become a Christian.  They asked each other questions about their spiritual growth.

It has been a great year, and I am so amazed at the social, academic and more importantly the spiritual growth of the children. Thank you to each and every one of you for making this year so memorable.  I could not have done it without your constant support and dedication.  Words truly cannot express how thankful I am that God allowed us to spend this year together.  I will miss you all!  Please come back and visit!

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