Saturday, July 20, 2013
I don't know why I'm surprised... I teach PUBLIC SCHOOL!
This past week I taught and led the pre-school music at my church's Vacation Bible School. I have worked VBS at various other churches in the past but this particular year was very eye opening for me. I was asked to teach Pre-School music in early spring and after much prayer and consideration, I decided to go ahead and teach since that was the only way that Natalie was going to be able to come.
Although she is not yet 4 until next month, she was slated to be in the "Worker's Children Only 2s and 3s class". She was still able to come through the music and craft rotation, her class seemed lacking and at the end of the 1st and 2nd day, she could not even tell me what she learned nor anything about the lesson beside what she made in craft and what songs she learned in my class.
Tuesday was especially eye opening for me not only as a worker of VBS but also a TEACHER and most importantly, A MOTHER! Again, this was worker's only children but the kids were 2-3 years old and Natalie is basically 4. I noticed on Monday the lack of discipline and control in this particular class but on Tuesday, there seemed to be somewhat of an "Aura" about the kids in the class and they were literally bouncing off the walls during my 20 time in music. As a sat and watched and led this time with them, I noticed my own Natalie not running around like the other children (A few of whom, were even OLDER than Natalie) but just sitting there quietly and singing along. It was after VBS on Tuesday when she came home and told daddy "Daddy, I don't like BBS. I am with babies". This was my last straw... I moved her to the Pre-K class on Wednesday. The rest of the week was a HUGE success and not only did Natalie express that she had a better time but I can tell she actually learned things. She called some of my family members and even told them her Bible verse and we SKYPEd her singing the VBS songs too! This thanks to her teachers Mrs. Priscilla and Mrs. Sheila... They were AWESOME! Thank you both so much for taking my little girl under your wings and help her learn more about God!
Despite my desire to move her to a more challenging class, I was appalled at the discipline amongst kids in this class. There were several kids who I know in this class and they acted well and one little girl, who is younger than Natalie, even knew the topics of the lesson (You could tell her mom was a VBS teacher... She knew it all). Another little boy was very well behaved and so polite and nice throughout the week. However, there were other kids that were OUT OF CONTROL. They came in and would immediately go to the area where the instruments were despite their teacher telling them not to. Now this is nothing out of the ordinary for 2-3 year olds but the thing that got me was the reaction from the teachers. Most of them just kinda shrugged their shoulders in dis-belief. "They're 3... its OK" they would say. Haha... I went into FULL TEACHER MODE at this time. I was taking instruments away, having them sit in time out and all kinds of stuff. One little girl came up and hit me on the leg and said "No teacher... NO!" HAHA... I think I just about lost it. I don't think I have ever prayed for more patience (Those of you that know me, know this is TRUE!)
I realize that in this type of volunteer environment that is church that some people are scared to discipline kids but NOT ME... I mean there was a mother and daughter in the class and during the music time the 4 year old would just run around the whole time while mom watched! SERIOUSLY? Are you kidding me? Somebody had to step up and be the mom... I apologize for doing this but... SOMEONE HAD TO! I was just dumbfounded! A youth worker came up to me afterwards and said "Can you come back to class with us please. I don't think I would have such a big headache if you did!" Again, so very eye opening!
Natalie was 2 once and is still 3 but as a mother, Christian mother at that, I have raised her to be kind, respectful and listen to her teachers. She has also been in church enough times to know when to run around and when to sit still. Now, I am not perfect and I certainly have many faults (Please, no one say any Amens here!) but I feel as if I have been called by God to be a good Godly, Christian mother to Natalie and Luke. These kids need to know how to respect and respond to authority. Sure, Natalie has moments of back-talk and fits but when these moments occur, SPANKINGS occur too. Spankings occurred this week in my music VBS classroom... but they were given TO me instead of BY ME!
Now I have seen some pretty remarkable discipline problems teaching public school for 8 years but to see the same problems, if not worse, within church walls really makes me worried! There's a running joke in our SS class at church about a guy who upon his first request to work in the nursery back years ago gave a spanking a kid in the room. He said he had "No idea you couldn't do this at church". He always says "He was mis-behaving and needed to be disciplined so that's all I did". As a class of young parents we all laugh but I witnessed that this week and I am appalled! Parents, please discipline your children! Teach them to respect and respond to authority in the way God wants us to.
Lord, I pray that You will help me be a good, Godly mother to Natalie and Luke. Lord, help me to be patient with them and raise them up to love, worship and honor YOU and their authority/ elders! Thank You, Lord for these 2 blessings I call Natalie and Luke! I praise YOU for these gifts! Thank You, Lord!
God is good... All the TIME!