Wednesday, October 31, 2007


"Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other


I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me"
-Casting Crowns "East to West"

I was driving into work today with the radio on, but not really listening because I was too busy praying. You see, yesterday was probably the worst day we have had all year as far as student behavior is concerned. Seven, yes, seven of the boys in our class got in so much trouble during music and gym class that they were standing along the gym wall and had to talk to the principal before they came back to class. I was driving to school, praying for those seven boys, but also for the other students in my class. There are so many that don't have peace in their lives. So many that have little to no self-confidence or self-esteem, and so many that have no stability or structure. I was sitting and praying (and driving) when this song came on and I couldn't continue because I was so engrossed in the song. It fit so well with what I was praying about, also confessing some of my sin...and praying about how I can be more just and fair but loving about all in the classroom discipline. Here comes this song and I tear up.

Jesus, will you show me just how far the east is from the west? That's where your word (psalms, I believe) tells me you separated me from my sin.

From one scarred hand to the other... I got a mental image when I listened to this and thinking about it now conjures the same image. Now I don't know much about the actual geography/topography of the Bible, but I want to learn. I don't know if anyone knows this. The picture in my head, though, is Jesus hanging on the cross, facing North (or south). Therefore, his hands are pointing east and west, respectively. Those wounds are the payment for my sin. That is where it is placed, on Him. Not on me. Jesus knows how far apart those wounds are, but he also knows that they are finished, and they are on Him.

I also really liked the line about His peace getting me through this night....I feel so often that this year is a very long night. I'm having some dark spiritual times because I'm struggling with finding a "home" community here. I'm also in the middle of so many other transitions that it is simply nuts. I need the peace. Fill me.

p.s. Today (even though it was Halloween) was the best day we have ever had, especially with behaviors. :-D Praise God for answered prayers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It was bound to happen...

I'm sick.

My whole family has been sick for the past 2 1/2 weeks with an awful cough and sinus problems. Christian was sick last week with a terrible stomach bug. Friday I woke up feeling kinda snuffly with a scratchy throat. It was okay for most of the day until I went to a sign social (where I didn't talk hardly at all)...after the social I tried to say (speak) goodbye to my friend and I had no voice! Since then it's been really scratchy and barely there. I hope it comes back before tomorrow because (luckily) I'm not going to teach, but I am going to a Learning Disabilities Association Conference where I am expected to be a "hostess" for one of the sessions, meaning I introduce the speaker and answer procedural questions. If this were a Deaf Educators Conference, I would be okay because I could sign, but most of these teachers don't know sign. :-(

I called my mom back last night because she left me a message. She answered the phone and I said, "Hi, how are you?" Her reply? "Better than you, apparently." My mom is so funny. :-) If it's not better by tomorrow, hopefully it is before Wednesday, otherwise my students are going to learn a lot of sign language.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The World Today

What is happening?

  • My school has been broken into 3 times since September 4th.
  • Windows have been broken (inside and out)
  • computers have been stolen
  • Today, while everyone was still in the building, a computer was stolen from the assistant principal's office
  • Out of my twenty 2nd graders, 5 have anger management problems.
My eyes are really being opened to the sin in this world. There are so many things that these students have been exposed to at such a young age. Things that never even crossed my mind until I was much older. They are being forced to care for their younger siblings because their parents need to work long hours in order to put food on the table. These kids are forced to grow up early. I hope to be able to give them a little of their childhood back at least while they're in my class. My philosophy is eyes are heart aches for these kids.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Students Today (College focus)

Found this on Noel's students today. Very interesting. Made me think about what the world will be like in the future, by the time my 2nd graders get into college age...

Friday, October 12, 2007


I think this Sunday I'm going to go to a church that some of my students go to. I'm excited.

That's all. :-)

Real Life

Last night, for the first time since April (i.e. graduation), I went to a large group gathering of Campus Crusade for Christ at MSU. My Bible study leader/discipler that is also our Assistant Campus Director was giving the talk, and I didn't want to miss it. So, after school I headed to East Lansing. I got here at about 5:30 or so and I went straight to the Business College Complex because I knew the band would be setting up soon, and I wanted to see them.

While I was at state, every Thursday night was spent in the same routine, helping the band setup and practice from 5:30-7:30, Real Life (the large group meeting) then hanging out somewhere afterward. I didn't realize how blessed I was to have that routine, nor how much I miss even the little, seemingly insignificant portions of Thursday nights from college.

I walked in as the band was warming up/practicing. I helped troubleshoot the sound board, ;-) visited for a couple seconds, and then just sat back and took it all in. It was great to see people that were new last year taking leadership roles. The guy that I 'trained' in sound was training someone new. :-) I miss it. I miss the 3 1/2 hours that I gave on Thursday nights to the Lord, for praise, worship, singing, learning, and fellowishipping. I miss the people. I was really blessed to have been involved for as long as I was. I hope to continue to be connected to that community, while at the same time I'm seeking my own community in Flint (at least for this year).

The talk was great, too. ;-) The thing that struck me the most, though, was the community. Praying together, singing together, living. This is Real Life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Celebrating Small Successes

Today went pretty well. :-)
That's a big thing.

So far the main thing that I've been teaching has been phonics and math. I'm starting to learn how to get the kids excited about the (boring) phonics readers. I just need to keep finding ways to connect it to their lives and make it real for them. The kids are at such different levels that it's hard to do the same or even similar things with all of them. This week I planned 3 different lessons for the 3 different ability groups using the same book. I went through 2 of them today (low and middle) and I need to do 2 tomorrow (high and another middle). They went alright. Some of the kids are just not interested in being a part of the group. I don't yet know how to help them engage when they are having a rough day.

The math lessons that I've been leading are more review than lessons, but it counts nonetheless. ;-) Monday I led them in a game, too, which went fine. The behaviors were pretty good on Monday, too. Today was a different story as far as behaviors were concerned (we had a talk about how to behave in the hallway, there were a couple of almost fights...), but the math calendar lesson went well. :-) It started as a mistake. We didn't have enough copies made of the sheet...I trusted that my CT had made them (which she did)...we just didn't have them all in the right place. So, I improvised. She made the copies and I explained to the class what happened and said that I was going to pick a "super helper" for the day to sit in the teacher chair and use their paper with the document reader. I even let him call on some students to help him with certain problems. (I picked one of the kids that isn't always completely forced him to pay attention, and he did a great job!) The other kids liked it, too, I think...and we are going to do it again tomorrow. I also started this, 'if you're doing the right thing you can put a smiley face on the top of your paper'. So tomorrow I need to reward the ones that had smileys on the top of their papers (all of them) to start the positive reinforcement for being on task and getting their work done well. Overall, it was a good day. :-). I thought I would talk about the positive for once.

Alright, time for dinner and then a lot of homework tonight. <3