Our humble classroom!

I taught the preschoolers!


My friend taught the older children, K-3rd graders.










It’s 2/11/13 and Classes have begun!

     After much preparation, many anxious moments, and what seemed like a million logistics to coordinate, Kelly (not her real name)  and I finally were able to be about the business of teaching our students.  Our school consisted of seven children:  four preschoolers, one kindergartener, a first grader, and a third grader.(Classroom size a teachers dreams of)  I was to teach the preschoolers and Kelly was to teach the older children.  Considering my friend and I were former high school teachers, the adjustments we needed to make were challenging.  (But by God’s grace we did it!)

     My first day with my preschoolers revealed I had too much lesson time and not enough playtime. (I was a former high school teacher, remember)  Therefore, I adjusted and came up with a plan to work on the alphabet in the first part of the morning while interspersing story time.  Snack time (a vital part of any preschooler’s day) happened around 10 a.m. Then after snacks I concentrated on math concepts, mostly about counting, and, of course, interspersed with the reading of stories.

     Parents came to pick up their children for lunch around 12 ish.  After a lunch break, it was back to the school house and we enjoyed play time with our kiddos; not the formal learning as in the morning but learning on a more casual basis. Nature hikes, chalk drawing on the big ole rocks by the camp, singing, playing board games (a favorite was Candy Land), etc. defined our afternoon school day. 


    My anxious feelings began to subside once I had a grasp of exactly what I would be doing.  And while this did help, I found that those anxious feelings were now being replaced by feelings of inadequacy. (Plain and simple, I didn’t think I knew how to teach preschoolers, for I wanted to do more than just babysit them.)  The fiery darts were working on me with a vengeance.  My son was my greatest source of encouragement. Actually, he kept me going.  We had such inspiring conversations that just when I began to feel overwhelmed God would use him to speak a word to me that would give me incentive to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

     Somehow in the midst of my feelings of inadequacy, God took my meager efforts and blessed them beyond what I deserved. I learned afresh, the awesome truth of a very familiar phrase to most Christians. I learned that,

 “our availability is more valuable to God than our ability!”  

     Looking back on my time at the training camp, it seems I whined every day to God about issues I was having with others, about the harshness of my surroundings, about feeling on the outside and not truly fitting in.  I whined about having no one my age with which to hang out or have camaraderie with. Yet, in spite of all my whining God used me. Why? Because I was there! Certainly, not because I was this super Christian who brought volumes of wisdom and ability to the experience.  It’s humbling to look back on my time in the training camp. For at first I can’t see anything but failure and inadequacy. But then when the fiery dart thinking is rejected, I hear God affirming me by saying,

“Thank you for making yourself available. That was all I needed from you!”