Friday, May 24, 2013

The BFF did it!

Someone came into my house while I was out and... 


They also 



What is this strange phenomenon?  How do I get it to visit my house? You might ask. 

Well, you get yourself a BFF like mine.  

Then you just wait until you feel absolutely awful and almost pass out at work, mess up your medication dosage, have a weird reaction to your medication dosage being messed up, whack out your sleep pattern, forget to do the dishes and leave clean laundry in a pile on kitchen stools and have another horrible day at work.  Then, your BFF will happen to be visiting the house for a completely different reason, see the mess and come to the rescue. 

That probably sounds quite complicated.  It would probably be much easier to just do the dishes.  


Saturday, May 11, 2013

JS Prayer Series Pt 2

Hi everyone,

I have just finished organising the Junior Soldier Activities for our special Mothers' Day meeting tomorrow.  There will be a big mess to clean up tomorrow and that is all you are going to hear about that for now.  

Our adventures in learning about Prayer have been loads of fun and I have been promising highlights and photos for a while. Today I will be deliver.  

Week One: What is Prayer?

We have talked about prayer together before and have even prayed together as well.  The lesson started with an amalgamation of two games.  Pictionary coupled with 20 Questions meant that the game had some variety and we played the 'game' for much longer than we usually would have managed.  There were two different colours of paper squares (fairly small).  On the purple squares I wrote the names of people we knew well, such as our Officer (minister), the kids' parents.  On the orange squares I wrote communication objects such as a telephone, mobile phone, laptop computer, postcard.  When they pulled out a purple square the kids had to tell us it was a person and we had to ask yes/no questions until we could guess which name was on the square.  If an orange square was pulled out, the child would draw a picture of it so that the rest of us could guess what object was on the square.  We had quite a bit of fun with this game. 

We then talked about prayer as communicating with God.  We also talked about how the games restricted the ways that we got our message to our friends, there were rules we had to follow.  Even though Jesus taught us how to pray and there are lots of verses in the Bible about the right way to pray, we are not restricted in our prayers.  God is our friend and He loves us.  He wants us to talk to Him about anything and everything.  
The poster we created had the first part of Ephesians 6:18 and the words "We can prayer anywhere, any time about anything."

Each of us had three hand print sticky notes.  On each sticky note the kids wrote: a place we can pray, times that we pray and things we can pray about.  All the sticky notes were then stuck on the poster around the Bible verse as you can see below. 

We also made our own prayer rocks and I gave the boys a modified "prayer rock" poem which you will see next time.  At the end of the lesson we shared thank you prayers.  

More next time! :D

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One of "those" teachers

Yesterday, I caught myself doing something.  No, it isn't strange that I was active.  The 'something' that I was doing was a thing I promised myself I was not ever going to do when I became a teacher.  

The class teacher was at the front of the classroom teaching (funny that..) and there was a child facing the back of the room (where I was sitting).  He was smirking at a friend.  I tilted my head forward and peered at him over the top of my glasses.  I frowned and furrowed my (very bushy) brows as I caught his eye.  His face dropped.  My eyebrows climbed and my eyes flicked towards the front of the room where the teacher was still teaching.  The student turned to face the teacher.  All of that took less than ten seconds.  Unbelievable.... Inconceivable. 

Many will say that a simple look is the ultimate teacher tool.  "Save your voice," they would say.  But I never wanted to be 'that teacher'... the one that can scare with a stare.  I was going to be the one who would inspire with a smile.  But apparently that is not the way the world works at times.  I suppose I will get over it. I don't mind the idea of having a 'look' or two that are easily interpreted by the kids BUT... I was LOOKING OVER MY GLASSES!  I'm not just the scary teacher... now I'm the OLD scary teacher!!! 

It is a Sad Day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jnr Soldiers Prayer Series

I must say that over the past few weeks I have been LOVING my time at Junior Soldiers.  Two weeks in a row, we have been so involved in our activities that someone has had to come and tell us that the Church Service is over.  Don't get me wrong, we are always close to the end of our meeting and the people who come and tell us to finish up are rather impatient!  But, anyway.

There are a number of reasons I will attribute to our recent 'excitement' and while I know that you are probably more interested in hearing about what we are up to I am going to do this first.  I could also give this a "great title" (get it?! ha) and have millions of hits (double ha) but for now we will stick with this one. Reasons for our increased engagement at JS meetings.

  1. PRAYER: This is absolutely the number one reason for the great time we have been having at JS.  In my attempts to stay positive I haven't shared much about the challenges that we have been facing in the past 6-9 months and I won't go into it all right now.  All you really need to know, is that I was truly struggling and I eventually asked sincerely and without pride, for prayer.  There are some amazing prayer warriors in our church, mature Christians who pray without ceasing.  They rallied behind the JS and myself.  Their prayers have been answered.  The topic we are studying right now is "prayer" and I think that has helped too. 
  2. Reflection and Planning: When on school holidays, I prayed; then I realised what needed to be done and I did it.  (Der M).  So, I reflected on the lessons and listed the successes and the challenges.  I considered the lessons that had worked well.  One aspect of this was the preparation.  When I had prepared posters, cards, worksheets and other resources ahead of time, I felt better and that helped our lessons go more smoothly. 
  3. Construction: During my reflection, I noticed that both boys had enjoyed craft (of all things) activities during our meetings.  I realised that I had often discounted the 'craft' type activities in the belief that it was a bit 'girly'.  However, I realised that if the craft was a little more free form and construction based, the boys were in their element.  They also liked to use various media but were happy with pens and paper.  When planning, I now ensure that there is at least one opportunity for the kids to create something. 
  4. Games:  I truly believe that games are an excellent opportunity for learning. There is so much we can learn through play and the JS curriculum almost always includes games to illustrate the main idea of the lessons.  Unfortunately, almost every week, game time was resulting in tears/ tantrums/ cheating.  If the game involved 'competition' and a clear winner or loser, one of my boys did not like losing.  He also didn't like anything going wrong (e.g. in a running game he once tripped over and simply gave up because he thought he had no chance of winning).  I would always end up getting so frustrated that the end of the lesson would be a shambles.  So, I made a list of all the games or activities that we could play that involve turn taking but not winning.  For example: Pictionary, Eye Spy, Charades, Scavenger Hunts and Kims (observation) Games. We use only games that are on my list... or if there is any sort of competition, I have the kids work together to 'beat' me.  That means we have less 'sore loser' behaviour and way more fun. 
There it is.  Four reasons we have seen an improvement in behaviour and learning at Junior Soldiers but I have to give the glory to God.  

I promise next time there will be pictures and news on our actual activities.