Hello, God. Welcome to My Classroom


An Educational Experience

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on March 26, 2012

Last Friday, the 8th graders went on a field trip to our State Capitol in Richmond. Let’s face it…field trips are stressful. Organizing parent chaperones, lunches, buses, rules, student partners for the buddy system, departure and arrival times, what to do with students who can’t (or won’t) go but will still be at school, etc.

While we (the 8th grade teachers) were discussing final details on Thursday, we scanned the list of student partners, anticipating any who might need a little extra supervision. Boys who are habitual troublemakers. Couples who might try to escape for some alone time. Wonderers who might get separated from the group because they are oblivious to what’s going on around them. There are many possible issues, and we were trying to pinpoint them ahead of time.

One boy who has been difficult in our classrooms off and on this year was mentioned, but we all agreed he’d been doing well lately. He seemed to have done a complete turnaround, and we dismissed him as a potential problem.

When we arrived at the Capitol, the class was split in two groups. One took a tour, while the other participated in a mock General Assembly session. In the session, they were able to offer their opinions and viewpoints on issues pertinent to their age group and then place their votes. One issue was whether McDonald’s Corporation should take over the school cafeteria. The boy who we had decided was not a potential problem pressed his request to speak button, picked up his microphone, and announced that cafeteria food tastes like doo-doo.

Way to represent our school. And way to prove us dead wrong.

Of course we all discussed his comments extensively as we sat on the lawn outside the Capitol and ate our lunch before loading the buses for the ride home. My indignation at his behavior grew and grew until I felt disgusted at him for representing us so poorly.

Then God did what he does so frequently. He slapped me upside my head and infiltrated my mind. He said, “Now you know how I feel when you do something stupid. What a poor representative you are of my kingdom when you make bad decisions and act in ways that do not honor me. But remember, I’ll always love you even when you do those things.”

Yep, the message was loud and clear. Judging my students? Bad decision. I’m not setting a good example for them, and it certainly doesn’t represent God’s kingdom well. We all need to be reminded of important lessons in life. God reminded me. Now I need to remember that sometimes my teen students just need a little reminder as well.

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