Counting today, there are four more days of classes until a 13 day break. What a first semester it has been. This has been the craziest year of teaching in my 20 plus years and in some ways the most rewarding. I am so proud of the moms in my Family Literacy Class!!! They have learned a lot, not only English but also technology.
The first few weeks I used a strategy with the in class students. During conversation practice, I had the moms, who had not joined via Zoom in April and May, come to the front and join me with the students remote learning. By doing so, it allowed for them to become curious about Zoom and they began to ask questions which led to me showing them how to use Zoom.
Now they log onto Zoom quickly when I tell them to do so. They have also learned other programs for learning English and for reading with their children. They have blossomed.
If I had pushed them on the issue, they might have been resistant. But by creating a situation where they could observe and ask me, they had ownership in the choice to learn.
God gives us opportunities to learn and grow. He has created us with abilities and talents and gives us opportunities to explore them and learn as we go.
He has done that for me even during this pandemic. I have gained new skills as a teacher, in ministry, and in life. My desire is to incorporate the skills gained into my teaching and ministry after the pandemic is over.
On my way home from my morning class yesterday, I stopped at a convenience store. The clerk is a young woman I have chatted with before. Talk about coincidence and timing, she had just had a call from her doctor 3 minutes before I walked in confirming she is pregnant. I was the first person she told. It is beyond me why people open up to me the way they do except to say it is a God thing.
Before I left the store, I shared a simple message with her saying, “Jesus loves your baby and he loves you too.”
Speaking of babies, one of my morning students from last school year rejoined class for the first time yesterday. She had a baby in July and has been busy taking care of her daughter. We held a baby shower for her in Zoom a few weeks before her baby was born. Today was the first time the class had a chance to see her baby.
Every year at least one mom in my morning class either has a baby or finds out she is pregnant. That has not happened yet this year. But we are not even half way done yet, so there is still time. 🙂
This all is a bit amusing for me because I have no idea about baby stuff. Having only held babies for a short time and giving them back to their mom or dad when they get fussy or something else happens, my experience is quite limited.
One thing I do know for sure is that Jesus indeed loves all babies.
Today, marks 3 years since the judge signed and sealed my youngest daughter legally and permanently into my care as her mother. I looked through the pictures from that day and all the feelings came rushing back. I saw the Hands of God move in that season. The adoption process is the most challenging journey…
In my morning class, some of the moms are in the classroom and some join via Zoom. Each morning we have some large group activities and then I have the in class students login to Zoom, so I can set up breakout rooms for small group work by English level, one with me and one with my assistant.
Monday morning one of the moms who is usually in the classroom joined class via Zoom. She was in my breakout room for the hour. While our small group was studying, my student had a knock on her door. She went to answer her door. While she was gone, we had a surprise visitor join our group.
My student’s 3 and half year old daughter popped up from the sofa her mom was sitting on and started asking me questions, some in English and some in Spanish.
She asked me- “Como estas?” How are you. Then she asked- “Are you mommy’s teacher?” Her next question was-“Tienes hijas?” Do you have daughters?”
Obviously the cute factor was way off the charts. I answered her questions and asked her a few questions. The other moms in the small group smiled and laughed as our surprise visitor asked me questions.
When my student came back, she apologized, but I told her it was fun and not to worry.
Sometimes during this very unusual year of blended classes a person just has to go with the flow and embrace such moments.
Children are a blessing from God. Jesus did not think of children as a interruption even though his disciples did. They were trying to stop the children from coming to Jesus, but Jesus said:
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
The moms in my morning class have a lot to juggle in their lives. They have children to take care of, husbands they wake up to cook for in the mornings, so they have a lunch to take to work, and a home to manage. Throw a pandemic on top of that and one can imagine the stress they have.
One of the things I enjoy doing is at times using a little comic relief in class. My thinking is if they laugh, it will help reduce stress. A little background to yesterday’s comic relief.
I had not owned a comb for a long time because I always keep my hair short. After not being able to get a haircut until June due to COVID, I bought a comb. But after I got a haircut in June, I put said comb somewhere and now cannot find it.
During a Zoom meeting about my class a few weeks ago, I joked I was having a bad hair day. My hair is getting long again. The woman who coordinates the program for all of the schools joked with me that I could use a plastic fork. I promptly went to the cupboard in my classroom and got a plastic fork and used it to comb my hair during the meeting.
Now on to yesterday. I told my assistant what I was going to do and asked her to ask me what I was doing when I started to use the plastic fork. Once all of the students were in class, some in person and some in Zoom, I started combing my hair with a plastic fork. My assistant asked me what I was doing. I told her I was combing my hair. The students were laughing. My assistant was laughing and could not get out the other words of- “buy a comb.”
A classic moment happened when the school librarian, who I have worked with for 7 years, walked in to bring some Chromebooks. I showed her how I comb my hair with a plastic fork. She said, “What are you Ariel from Little Mermaid now?” I told her I would try to sing like Ariel but she left the room quickly. Perhaps she did not want to hear me sing. I would not blame her. 🙂
The moms are precious souls who Jesus loves. It is my privilege to teach them and to pray for them each morning as I start my day at home over coffee. If I can give them a little joy and laughter, it is a blessing for me.
This school year has been unlike any I have ever taught. It has been especially true for the moms in my morning class. Yesterday was a great example of why.
Half of my class is remote and they are the moms with the better skills for using computers. The moms who are in the classroom have little or no experience with computers.
Their curiosity was peaked by using the projector to show the moms joining via Zoom. They began asking me to show them how to use Zoom. They began bringing their checked out Chromebooks each morning.
Yesterday I worked with them and my assistant worked with the moms in Zoom. The moms in the classroom are from Burma, Guatemala, Mexico and Sudan. Yesterday I had them join via Zoom while sitting in class, so I could share my screen with them. They watched as I used Google Docs instead of writing on the dry erase board. At the end of the session, I saved what I had written in Google Classroom. I had them come to me one by one, so I could show them how to open the email from Google Classroom and then how to open the document I shared.
Watching their confidence grow a little each time is so rewarding. They have learned about Zoom, Google Classroom, and Google Docs. They are eager. I even made a “quiz” for them using Google Forms with questions like- Do you want Hannah or the teacher to cook for you. Hannah is my assistant. Another question was- Do you want the teacher to cook in your kitchen. Using humor helps to lower stress over something new.
I showed the results of the quiz- percentages for answers- and made it into a comedy routine as I reacted to 100% saying they did not want me to cook in their kitchen and acting like I was sad.
I am so proud of these moms. I start my mornings by praying for them and asking Jesus to help me show them his love. Just a glimpse into a very unusual year.
Each time I have the opportunity to interact with Temi it is a blessing for me. I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her life through Jesus’ strength and help. One of her accomplishments is her wonderful blog christinamommas.com. Today she shares what inspired her to write her book- A Christian Mother’s Creed.
In Part 1 she shared about a time she experienced racism. In Part 2 she shared her real life story of going from international student to being in the military.
I have read her book. Of course I will never be a mom, but I found application in replacing the word teacher for mom and the word students for children. It is an excellent book to read.
What inspired you to write your book A Christian Mother’s Creed?
Many events inspired me to write A Christian Mother’s Creed. It began with a strong desire to have a Bible-based booklet that would serve as a guide for me and other mothers on the journey of motherhood.
After the birth of my first little one, I felt incompetent. I honestly did not know how to be a mother because my mother died in my early childhood years. I started living with my grandfather at age three and I grew up calling many female relatives, ‘mother’. I did not fully experience what it felt like to have a mother. Even worse, the death of significant people in my life was subconsciously affecting my ability to bond with my little one.
I cried out to God for help. God showed me how my military experience has prepared me for motherhood. He showed me how my career and academic pursuits were part of his divine arrangement to help my motherhood journey.
A Christian Mother’s Creed primarily captures what I learned as a soldier in the U.S. Army, how my military experience shapes and will shape my mindset as a mother. My book calls other parents to join me on the journey to becoming the kind of parent I believe God wants us all to become.
Good Morning Gorgeous, It’s a brand new day. A fresh start. I almost always write first thing in the morning, but my heart is grieving. I am mourning like so many of you over the events happening around our nation. I am writing this in the evening as I process the hurts happening across our […]
It is Mothers Day here in the USA. I would like to wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms who follow and read my blog.
Many of the people I interact with a lot here in my blog are wonderful moms with great blogs to follow. I hope today is a special day for you even though the times are quite different.
I would like to thank the mom bloggers I interact with and follow for your posts that inspire me, give me smiles, and brighten my days.
This Mothers Day I would like to share a song with you. The song is from a genre I don’t usually listen to but the woman who wrote it and sang it did so inspired by her grandmother. The song is- God Made A Woman.
I will share the version from American Idol so you can see the back story and also the full song.
My morning Family Literacy Class had a three week break in March due to the COVID-19 virus. We started again the first full week of April. My students are moms from other countries who are low income. They come to class to learn English, so they can help their children. The picture below is from April 2019.
When we started again on Zoom, I had four out of 18 students join. Each week we have had one or two more join. That was the case this past week when two of the moms joined. As each one joins, I feel a sense of relief that I can connect with them and know how they are doing.
I pray for them during my time with God in the morning. 4 of the moms had babies this school year. Another mom is going to have a baby in August. I pray for them and their babies. When my students connect with me in our online class, I rejoice.
The past several weeks have given me a new appreciation for what Jesus said about the lost sheep in Luke 15:
“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and losesone of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shouldersand goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.”
Rejoicing over the one who is lost and being willing to do whatever it takes to find them is what Jesus wants us to do. Go find the ones who are lost and rejoice when they come to know him.
Jesus rejoices every time a person comes to know him. That is the whole reason he came. Have you ever thought that Jesus wants to rejoice over you? That is how precious you are to him.