Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

Beneath the Surface October 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — songofjoy88 @ 8:19 pm

Since I just got my braces yesterday, I told my teacher to plan on teaching today because I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling.  I’m pleasantly surprised with how little my teeth hurt.  As I write this, the place that hurts the most is my bottom lip which is kind of getting torn up by my braces… maybe I’ll put some wax on them.

Anyways, I pretty much just helped out as needed today.  The students worked in small groups and used mini-marshmallows and toothpicks to construct cubes.  Then, they counted the number of toothpicks (edges) and marshmallows they (vertices) used.  There were some questions about parallel and perpendicular lines too.  Overall the kids were quite well behaved today (especially for coming back from a 4 day weekend!)- I’ll take it.

As always, there were a few exceptions.  Tara got put out of Ms. M’s class, so I took her with me to the cafeteria to work on some sheets from her workbook that were similar to what the rest of the class was working on.  Before getting started, we just talked for a bit… When I asked her if she had a good weekend, she quietly shook her head “no.”  I asked if there was anything good about her weekend, and she told me “no.”  So, I asked if she wanted to hear about my weekend.  To this she nodded “yes.”  I briefly shared about my weekend and then talked with her for a little bit about her behavior (which has been worse than usual the past few weeks).  A few times as I was talking with her, her mouth opened just enough for a genuine smile to creep out.  At the same time, I could sense that there is a lot going on beneath the surface.  I told Tara that if she ever wanted to talk to me she could and if she would rather write me a little note, she could do that too.  But no matter what is going on outside of school, there is still work that needs to get done.

Please pray for Tara and that I would continue to build trust with her so that she feels comfortable talking with me.  Also, please pray that my love for my students and teachers would overflow from the neverending love that God has for me.  I know that Tara  is not the only student with stuff beneath the surface… and there’s teachers with stuff hiding underneath too.  It is my prayer that God would give me wisdom and discernement as I love on these people and build relationships with them! 🙂


3 Responses to “Beneath the Surface”

  1. Lexie Says:


    That is so encouraging about Tara. Sometimes it’s the little things that count and I’d take that little bit of a genuine smile as a good thing 🙂 I will definitely be praying for Tara and your other students as well. 🙂 Post again soon; I love hearing what you are up to!

  2. Katie Covington Says:

    The toothpick activity is great — I do that with my 4th graders every year. I don’t know what you guys have for curriculum standards, but my kids enjoy a good challenge (like building a tetrahedron). Even though 4th graders don’t need to know that complicated of a figure, it helps reinforce the concept of edges, vertices, faces, etc.

    My kids (low SES) work really well with motivation techniques that they work as a whole class on. For instance, I have a sticker chart and when they get a “class compliment” I add a sticker (or 2-3, depending on the compliment) to the row. When they fill a complete row (30 stickers) they get a class prize. My kids love extra recess… but you could make it so it gears towards your age group more. We use a positive behavioral support system at my school and pass out “starbucks” (fake money) to kids who we see exhibiting STARS behavior (safe, timely, a learner, respectful, show pride). At the end of each week, they are given the opportunity to shop at the store where they can buy things like sitting at the teacher’s desk for a day, sitting with a friend for a day, etc. I have also used a ticket system where when I catch kids doing something good, they get to write their name on a raffle ticket and at the end of the 6 weeks, I randomly chose 5 tickets for a bigger prize (like a $5 gift card to Sonic, or a free frosty).

    Anyway, you just have my brain whirring about your kids. Some of the stories you’ve mentioned remind me so much of the kids I have. Just keep doing what you’re doing, it sounds like you are making a big difference to these kids 🙂

  3. Alyssa Says:

    Its really funny that you guys did the marshmallow/toothpick activity today…we just learned about doing that with our students in our math class today…what a small world! Hope your week is going fabulous, even though you are now a metal mouth!

    Keep your head up


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