The Prettiest of Them All

One day the kids received their school pictures.

I walked by and noticed their pictures lying on their desks. When they realized I was looking at their pictures, some of the girls tried to hide it from me. “Don’t look!” they said. “I look terrible! It’s hideous!”

“No it’s not,” I said. “It’s cute. Stop being so self-conscious. You’re too young for that.”

Later we were playing with the marble tower game, where you build a tower using different pieces, and let the marbles roll down your creation. It’s a fun game I used to play when I was a kid.

Michelle and another kid were working together making a tower, while a boy we’ll call Neil S. (there’s 2 Neil’s in my group) was working on his own tower with one of the other boys.

Neil S. has a mechanical mind. He excels at building things.

“Woah,” I said when I saw his tower. It was pretty advanced for a 2nd grader.

Michelle heard me, and said, “You like theirs better than ours.”

“Why do you think that?”

“You said, ‘woah.’ That means you like theirs better than ours.”

Normally I try to answer all the kids questions as best I can, no matter how difficult or off-the-wall they may be. After all, that’s how kids learn; by asking questions.

One day Michelle stood up in the middle of study hall. In front of the entire class, she asked, “Mr. Robert, who’s the prettiest girl in the class?”

O_o’

“All the girls are pretty,” I said. Really, what else was I supposed to say?

“But if you had to choose one,” asked Michelle, “who would you choose?”

At that moment Mick stood up and announced to the class, “I think Yuna’s the prettiest!”

Michelle continued to press me for an answer. “If you had to choose one…”

Honestly I don’t think I could possibly choose one as the prettiest even if I tried. It’s like a parent trying to choose between their kids. It can’t possibly happen. You like them all equally.

“Mr. Robert, who’s the prettiest?”

“Michelle, do your homework.”

“Yuna! It’s Yuna! Yuna’s prettiest!” said Mick, jumping up and down.

By that point, the class was in an uproar.

“Everyone, quiet. Do your homework.”

Mick came to me and showed me a piece of paper. On it he had written, “I like Yuna. I want to ciss her.” (That’s how he spelled it.)

Mick went over to Yuna, showed her the paper (just in case it weren’t obvious already that he liked her), then went back to his seat. Yuna had no reaction whatsoever. Mick didn’t seem to care. He just sat there smiling away.

So some of the boys like Yuna. The boys like the “girly-girls,” like Yuna and Mary Ann. Michelle, on the other hand, is rather tomboyish, and does things differently from the “girly-girls.” They wear skirts, she wears sneakers. They wear pretty shoes and jewelry and things like that, and Michelle tends not to. Michelle is also the youngest kid in the class (she’s young enough to be in first grade) which I think makes things tougher for her.

I had a feeling that Michelle had a mild case of inferiority. As a teacher, it’s important to notice these things in order to help correct it. If a student has a low self-esteem or is self-conscious, it will cause them stress and anxiety and hamper their ability to learn. With Michelle, I just tried to be supportive and encouraging. She would frequently talk to me, and I made sure to take the time to listen. Even if it were about silly things, such as her “hiiii” joke, I think it’s important to show genuine care and interest in students lives in order to make them feel appreciated. Students need solid emotional support in order to achieve academic goals. I think that as teachers, our jobs are to not only help students succeed academically, but also have solid emotional and social well-being.

Love Hurts

When I was with the second graders, Yuna would like to hold my hand. She’d like to play with my fingers, particularly when I’d be standing and talking with another student. She’d grab my fingers and try to get my attention. But sometimes she would take one of my fingers and bend it back…really far.

“Yuna! Are you trying to break my finger?”

“Yes!” she said. “I want you to break your finger, so then you can get a cast and I can sign it!”

During recess I let the kids pinch me to see if they could make it hurt.

“Does that hurt?” they’d ask.

“No,” I’d say.

None of the kids succeeded.

Yuna came and pinched me, grabbing my skin and twisting it.

“Ouch!” I said.

“Does it hurt?” she’d ask.

“Yes!” I said, as if it weren’t already obvious.

She’d laugh.

I don’t know how, but Yuna had a way of always making it hurt. She was quite proud of it.

Yuna would constantly tell me how much she likes me, yet she also really enjoys hurting me.

We Will Glorify

 

We will glorify the King of kings
We will glorify the Lamb
We will glorify the Lord of lords
Who is the great I AM
Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty
We will bow before His throne
We will worship Him in righteousness
We will worship Him alone
He is Lord of heaven, Lord of earth
He is Lord of all who live
He is Lord above the universe
All praise to Him we give
Hallelujah to the King of kings
Hallelujah to the Lamb
Hallelujah to the Lord of Lords
Who is the great I AM

Yeast Spreads

I have a missionary friend who serves the Lord in a restricted country. (Can’t say the name of the country, or names of anyone, for security reasons.) Not long ago she returned to the States for a sabbatical. While she was gone, one of her disciples went out and was discipling someone else. Then the two of them went out to some villages and started preaching the Good News. They met one man in one of the villages who was particularly interested in what they were teaching, so they continued to go back to teach him. He accepted Christ, then went and told everyone else in his village about the Lord. The entire village was saved.

God worked through one person, who worked through another, who worked through another, to save an entire village. What may he be calling you to do?

 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Matthew 13:33

First Place Mariners

This might be the last time this happens all year, so I’m savoring the moment. 

 

West W L PCT GB E# WCGB L10 STRK HOME ROAD LAST GAME NEXT GAME
Seattle 2 0 1.000 2-0 W2 0-0 2-0 4/2 @ OAK, W 7-1 4/3 @ OAK, 10:05 PM
LA Angels 1 0 1.000 0.5 161 1-0 W1 0-0 1-0 4/1 @ CIN, W 3-1 4/3 @ CIN, 7:10 PM
Texas 2 1 .667 0.5 160 2-1 W2 0-0 2-1 4/3 @ HOU, W 4-0 4/5 vs LAA, 2:05 PM
Houston 1 2 .333 1.5 159 1.0 1-2 L2 1-2 0-0 4/3 vs TEX, L 0-4 4/5 vs OAK, 8:10 PM
Oakland 0 2 .000 2.0 159 1.5 0-2 L2 0-2 0-0 4/2 vs SEA, L 1-7 4/3 vs SEA, 10:05 PM