This past Friday our beloved high school teacher, Miss Ligia, was away from the classroom during the morning hours to attend an appointment in the nearby city of La Ceiba, so we searched long and hard to find a suitable substitute teacher…
Well, we found one, but her teaching methods were a little off-the-wall (sometimes quite literally as her inflated beach ball bounced off the walls…)
Each student had to be ready to drop whatever they were doing to catch the roaming beach ball when their name was called, stand up, and declare the Biblical statement I had scribbled on the very, very full whiteboard.
Here’s the good news: if you’re really talented, you get called upon to come shout out the declaration with the beach ball and jump on the mini-trampoline at the same time.
We all enjoyed an incredibly blessed morning together on Friday. I implemented a partially-Montessori-style learning environment geared toward older kids while including hands-on stations such as “architecture” (blocks/Legos), painting, and Chinese Tangram puzzles.
The sit-in-your-chair stations were: an independent study on several chapters of Proverbs, written thank-you letters (one to Father God and one to any family member or person who supports them in their daily life), and a discussion-based study guide of questions based on chapter 13 of Ted Dekker’s novel “30 A.D.” that we are currently reading as a class.
Seeing as the 12 students had spent the first part of the morning in their socks after having been instructed to leave their shoes at the door (to protect our little mini-trampoline from dirt clods, etc), after an hour or so had passed it was time to rotate stations.
To shake things up a bit and ensure that no one fell prey to boredom or restlessness, I informed the students that on the count of 10 they would jump up from their seats, find and put on their shoes as quickly as possible and then run 2 laps as fast as they could around our little schoolhouse before returning, taking their shoes off again, and sitting down in their new stations.
I definitely didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did; everyone came in laughing hysterically and panting.
As each person collapsed in their seat, I informed them with a huge smile: “I liked that so much, that you’re gonna do it again. 1, 2, 3 — 10! Go!”
Eyes wide and still panting hard, everyone jumped up again and repeated the whole process!
Well, the lap-running had the exact effect I had hoped for: it canalized their energy enough to persevere a few more hours with our focused activities in the classroom. Worship music continued to play from our little CD player in the classroom as each student worked independently at their designated station, the entire morning marked by such tangible peace, gratitude and joy as can come only from our good Father who is beyond this world of ours that is stained by just the opposite. Truly we thank Him for granting us a morning of such grace as we continue to grow together, fervently seeking the One who holds all answers, all hope, all joy.