Number Sense

A staff member and two younger boys who shared birthdays were being honoured during a school wide event. The staff member leaned down and spoke to the Gr. 1 student standing in front of him. … read more.

My Wallet & Keys, They Comfort Me?

In preparation for school departure each morning, a teacher always hung his jacket in the same place, with wallet and keys in the same pocket. One day, however, the jacket was gone. He couldn’t be late to school—he was leading staff devotions. As wallet and keys eluded, anxiety rose, peace fled, family members were late to work, steps were retraced. “Check the trailer—you were out there yesterday”. A mad dash revealed the jacket, with wallet and keys inside. … read more.

The End

What? End of the year? Am I done? But…this year has been way too much fun! … read more.

Stress Test

(Adaptable for a skit) (loosely based on the January 2012 article from Learn. Teach. Lead., regarding Mayo Clinic’s suggested strategies for getting stress under control) 2 Corinthians 7:5 Paul was stressed? Yes. Many times. That may make you say, … read more.

Rain is Raining

If you’ve spent any time in the northwest, then you’ve observed the plethora of precipitation options. Given that, it’s always a bit exciting to check the variable verbiage on the daily forecast, just so you can dress for the weather. Here are some predictions which will never appear: Rain with no clouds. Sunny with a chance of clouds … read more.

Phonetic Faith

Do you ever long for the simple faith of a child? Do you wish you could believe what the Bible said was true—just because--instead of being filled with questions and uncertainty? Read on. … read more.

Positively Negative?

We teach positives and negatives in many subjects, as in Math, Science, and Literature. Sometimes we even receive them, free of charge, from parents, coworkers, and family. How should we handle these? Very carefully, or they will become positives and NEGATIVES. … read more.

Scaling Down

During a professional development day, staff learned about the 5-Point Scale (K. D. Buron & M. Curtis). Number 1 (green) is your optimum sunny disposition. Number 5 (red) is your terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad self, with other colours, numbers, and actions between. … read more.

An Alarming Thought

The school alarm had gone off at 4 a.m. (It’s OK to laugh if you weren’t the one phoned at 4 a.m.) An intruder? No. A vandal? Wrong. The real culprit? … read more.

Breathing

“Mrs. Zildenhoffer, Wilfred is chasing me, and he’s going to hit me!” One look at Wilfred, and you know he won’t back off easily. He’s in a crisis mode. “Wilfred, breathe.” Just breathe, Wilfred. In and out. In and out. That’s it. In a bit, we’ll go on to the next step in the behavior plan. But for now… … read more.

Stuff Too Heavy To Lift

The shrink-wrap is barely off of the new school year, and the smell of wax and new white board markers rule the air. Staff members dribble in for their meeting before the students arrive next week. Some flop gratefully into a chair. Others fidget, glancing at their watches. Listen in on their various thoughts as the principal begins. … read more.

You Can Run…

Can’t…do this anymore. Can’t…handle it. Too much…stress. Why did I ever come here? Afraid…so…afraid. Must…hide. Can’t…let them find me. But where? Here…they’ll never look here. Can’t see me…from the window in the door. It’s dark…quiet…. … read more.

If I Had a Hundred…a Teacher’s Perspective

The Gr. 1 class counted their 100 footsteps out the door to the asphalt area, clutching their bags of 100 items. Their instructions –line up the items beginning at the end of the asphalt. And they’d better keep at it—it might rain. 1, 2, 3… … read more.

Test or Blessed?

A teacher rarely gave breaks to her international students, but could see that they needed one on this day. “OK, class, you have five minutes to walk around, talk a bit, and stretch.” After a stunned silence, a student said, "I'm not sure what I think of this. I think maybe you're testing us." Later in the day… … read more.

Black and White…

Not teaching, that’s for sure… Teacher: “Class, has anyone seen the black white-board marker?” (I really want to start the lesson, but I’m tired of things not here when I need them. I’ll just ask this simple question and we can get on with it.) Student #1: “I put it back this morning!” (Wow—guilt! Though I did take it, the important thing is it’s out of my hands now, so please don’t accuse me.) … read more.

Mud

t had been a rainy year. Our unpaved school parking lot was a small mud pit. However, I didn’t realize just how muddy it was until I arrived that Monday morning and saw the elephant giving himself a bath in one of the parking spots. “What’s with the elephant?” I called to a coworker who was schlooping through the mire with her school bag. “Which elephant?” she called back. … read more.

I’ll File Away, Oh Glory!

The office in a public building was being vacated. In the hall on a pile of boxes lay a random paper with an attached note-- “file away somewhere”. Though my own filing system tended toward the haphazard, I still had questions… … read more.

What They Didn’t Teach Me in Teacher’s School

~I would never have a good night’s sleep on the eve of the first day of school ~The least expensive glue sticks would not always be the best ~To find out how strong my stomach is, wait till the first kid throws up in my classroom ~I may be hired based on things I could do besides teach … read more.

It’s That Time

It’s that time, That happy-sad time. The “have a good summer” time— With the “See-you-next-year” smile. … read more.

Don’t Jump Ship

If you are a high-school student or work with them, sailing the briny sea could be a reality for you. Boarding a S.A.L.T.S (Sea And Life Training Society) ship, you enter a world without cell phones, iPods, MP3 and CD players, video games, gum, and other necessities of life. Can’t wait to grab a lawn chair as soon as you get on deck? Oops—sorry, there are none here. … read more.

Why God Made Worms

A gaggle of motionless kids in the field attracted the recess duty-teacher’s attention. They were gathered around a lone worm. She stood back to observe. “He’s having a baby! I know it!” “Everybody stand back—let it have room!” “He’s don’t have babies.” … read more.

Seaside Moments

There are very few “sitting” moments in a teacher’s day. Sure, you may find yourself attached to your chair-- marking, observing, helping--but not the “cup your chin in your hands” sit where you can breathe deeply and just—well…sit. … read more.

“Ah” Moments for Teachers

Throwing away a sticky-note Learning that, yes, you can indeed have some of that cake in the fridge Having a staff meeting cancelled Receiving a thank-you note from that parent Arriving at school without spilling any coffee on yourself … read more.

The Zing-Zangs of Life

Zing-Zang was missing; the administrator made the morning announcement at the staff room table. … read more.

Still Waters

What about in the classroom; how can we teach this concept to our students? When do we have the time? We can’t even finish with the things that we are required to teach, much less adding something else. … read more.

Sh-h-h—Teacher’s Coming!”

The teacher was amazed the first time it happened. “Surprise!” the 5-yr-olds yelled, as she walked into the room after recess. To them, the yelling was the best part. To their teacher, seeing all 16 squirming bodies simultaneously on their carpet spots 2 weeks into the school year was the best part. She was amazed. Could they truly have done this on their own? Maybe they really are getting it! “Wow—you did surprise me!” the teacher told them. … read more.

Student Placement?

"I have held many things in my hands, And I have lost them all; But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, … read more.

The End

Throw out the stubby little pencils and broken crayons. … read more.

Who is Not Me?

Who’s in every class, but is never listed on the role? Who is the favoured scapegoat, the shadowy figure in your peripheral vision, … read more.

Write On!

“I wrote a story.” He held up his journal, 8 yr. old face beaming. … read more.

Plan B?

A swimming teacher planned an egg/treasure hunt, with clues promising to lead her students to a prize. … read more.

Are You Safe?

“Good morning, Fortress Security--how may I help you?” … read more.

Wait!  Please don’t touch that mouse or screen!

Wait! Please don’t touch that mouse or screen! This may not be what you were expecting for a devotional, but, since you’re here, I’d like just a moment of your time. … read more.

When Is God Going to Die?

A kindergarten student opened class with prayer. After several earnest words, he added, “Help God not to die.” A couple of indignant students blurted, “God can’t die!” The prayer closed, followed by a lively doctrinal discussion. We Who Know Better smile at this.
read more.

Challenge

In my daughter’s first year of university, a chapel speaker presented a challenge to the students: find a verse to help (encourage, sharpen) them in every class. She grabbed the challenge and ran back to her dorm. It was easier for some classes than for others. … read more.

OK, But Now What?

A teacher from another country writes:
read more.

“Ummmm…I Forget”

You thought it was one of your better lesson plans for a difficult lesson—captivating, creative, hands-on. You picture your students coming to you twenty years hence, saying, “Remember the lesson you taught about _____ ? Well, you really made it come alive for me. I’ve never had a teacher give another lesson like it. I’ve remembered it and have taught it to my students as well. Every time I teach it I tell them about you.” … read more.

“Tanc you for tecing me”

I opened the Christmas card and cringed at the spelling. Hadn’t I taught this girl anything? What happened to vowel blends, consonant digraphs, and all the rest? … read more.

“The Following Schools Will Be Closed Today…”

Your last look out the window before bed reveals heavy flakes still falling and your shovelled path covered...there’s hope. Next morning, your alarm (usually your nemesis) propels you to the radio. … read more.

Forgiven

I remember how you choked my brother in Pre-school,” the 9 year old said to his 7 year old brother’s classmate. … read more.

Wonder Webs

“Teacher—come and look at the grass!” … read more.

To Be Announced

Teachers are planners extraordinaire. They need to be in control of what is happening—and what may happen— … read more.

Testing 1…2…3…

Assessing the Kindergarten students was fun. When it came to counting aloud for me, one boy told me that he could only count to 12. … read more.

Make-up Work?

What do you want your kids to learn this year? (Maybe everything they didn’t learn from last year’s teacher?) … read more.

Are You Expecting An Answer?

Returning for another school year in Seoul, a teacher was at the weary end of her transcontinental flight. Wanting to start with a servant’s heart, however, she talked to the Lord. Well, I’ll let her tell it:
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Devotions For Teachers

Let's meet back here in August. Hope you've enjoyed these devotions for teachers. … read more.

Is it Morning?

Imagine, though, being up all night, and listening desperately for the crack of dawn: a soldier longing for his relief watch and sleep; a driver pulling an all-nighter on the road, searching the sky for bits of colour; a family member taking a turn by a hospital bed, ears straining for the morning shift to walk into the room. … read more.

The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day

A Gr. 1 boy came to me after recess. “I had a really bad recess,” he said. “I got hit by a ball right here!” and he showed me his injured spot. “I’m having a bad day.” … read more.

Rocks

When you look out at your students, you may think of them as a lot of things, but you’ve probably never thought of them as rocks, or stones. Some of them may faintly resemble bumps on logs maybe, but never rocks. (Caution: these are not to be confused with pet rocks, because teachers are not supposed to have pets). … read more.

Please, No Shot!

“I don’t want to get a shot.” The nine-year old boy cowered by his locker, ignoring the students rushing outside for their break time.

The teacher led him into a nearby room.

“Do you have to go to the doctor today?” The teacher started in with the questions. … read more.

Exploding Yogurt

Those words are not music to a teacher’s ears. You never know what you will find when you turn around to investigate. Today, it was yogurt—across the floor, across the carpet, and across the front of the girl who sheepishly held the half-empty tube. “And why did it explode?” her teacher asked, retrieving paper towels. … read more.

Songs About Jesus

Staff and students waited in a backstage room before the Easter program. The scene was awash in verbs—pull, pin, wriggle, laugh, tie, frown, shush, sit. In the midst of this, a teacher greeted a Gr. 1 boy. … read more.

You know that’s not what I meant!

The teacher watched a Grade 1 class walk inside from recess. They passed a small outbuilding that had recently been built. … read more.

Please Use Your Outside Voices

How many times a day do you actually need to say that? Yet often during class prayer time, the child who can could bellow across the room for a pencil can barely be heard by those sitting next to him. … read more.

The Biggest Nerd

It was Friday morning, and time to head for Chapel. It was also Valentine’s Day. Teacher glanced at the dial on her invisible Class Hyper-Monitor – it registered “extreme”. She swooped into the hallway to shoo the stragglers inside.

One student still rummaged in her locker.

“Quickly—time to be in class—we’re leaving now.” … read more.

*Bizhub, the Copier (any time)

“The copier isn’t working!” “Well, is it plugged in?” “Yeah—look on the power cord. The light is on.” “Try this switch.” “Oh—here comes Darla—ask her!” “Do you know how to turn this on?” “Oh, sure.” Knees buckle with relief, for a day without a copier is no day at all. Darla pushes a button. No sign of life. … read more.

Maple Leaf Stories

He came to the Resource Room with his paper. “We’re supposed to write a story about our field trip,” he said, and slapped the paper on the table. “Where did you go?” the teacher asked, noting the sea life border on the photocopied sheet. … read more.

Back at it

Teachers with fresh summer smiles...moms clinging to new students at the end of the hall...the pungent odor of freshly sharpened pencils...cracking open a new box of tissues/crayons...clueless looks at scientific calculators ...twisting a pencil in a brand new sharpener...wide eyes taking in the butterfly-themed room...moans of seating placements....the endless sharpening...peeling back the shiny protective cover on a new bottle of Tylenol.... … read more.

Joy-stealers

Watch out—they are everywhere, and they’re coming to a school near you!read more.

Just Fine and Dandelions

No matter that you surreptitiously toss them out with the pencil shavings after the last bell. You’ll get more tomorrow. No matter that you feel like you could scream if you see one more of those smelly weeds. They have served their purpose. God made dandelions to teach kids the joy of giving. … read more.