under the magnifying glass

watch me as i journey to another time and place...

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I'm saved by grace. I have nothing to boast except for the fact that I have the greatest Being on my side.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

walls have ears, doors have eyes...

What have I gotten myself into?!

Suddenly, the weight of being a teacher seems to press down on me even harder after realizing just how big an impact I can make on my students. Don't get the wrong idea though. I love teaching and even if people would often hear me fuss about the Energizer bunnies and invisible sound amplifiers that exist within each of my students (and in addition, complain about a certain student who seems to be blacklisted by all the Sunday School teachers), I actually enjoy sitting down with my students and sharing what I know with them. Last Sunday was no exception.

Having finished the story of Joseph the previous month, I started my students with a new lesson: Moses. To get them started, I had them do a treasure hunt. I taped several miniature pictures of rabbits all around the room and told them to find and collect as many as they possibly could. I ended up giving two prizes to two of my more enthusiastic students. Afterwards, I got the kids engaged in a drawing activity and also storytelling activity...for about ten minutes. Eventually, things began to get a little more difficult. One of my kids began crying because another kid scribbled over his drawing. Three other boys began running around and shouting and making an unbearable din and knocking down the chairs. Eventually, I gave up finishing the story and announced that they could eat: something to distract the kids and keep them trouble for the next five minutes. I thought the worst was over. I was wrong. I was surprised to just find one of the girls in my class lying on the floor, clutching her back, and crying out in pain. Thank God she wasn't seriously hurt (the way I see it, the game she was playing with the boys got a little too rough), but I was inches away from panic mode. Sigh. It's a good thing Patty was there to help me out.

Okay, I'm just stating what happened in actuality. This is not to give a negative view about my life as a teacher. In fact, I am about to tell you what happened that same Sunday that made me appreciate the joys of being a teacher even more.

Still remember the crying kid? His name's Jed. While I was trying to comfort him because of his ruined drawing, one of those who won in the treasure hunt (his name's John) gave Jed his prize instead and said, "Here Jed. You can have this instead." You could have blown me away when I saw that! A simple act of kindness demonstrated by one of my students and yet, it got me full in the face. After comforting Jed, I gave John a hug and told him that I was so proud of what he'd done and that I would give him another prize next Sunday instead. John just nodded and asked if he could play with my cellphone. I gladly obliged. He more than deserved it. Later, when I went to the church sanctuary, Jed saw me and told his father, "That's my Teacher Nino." Bang! Did he just say "my Teacher Nino?" Whoaaaa...

For some of you out there, you might think I'm being very shallow about all this, going all dramatic just because of an act of kindness done by my student or the fact that one of my students said that I was HIS teacher. I assure you that I'm not. When you begin to see yourself through the eyes of the younger generation who look up to you and imitate everything that you say and do, you begin to see that you form an essential
part of their development.

The walls have ears and the doors have eyes. We usually fail to realize that there are a lot of ears listening to what we say and eyes watching our every move. Last Sunday, while I was giving out instructions for the treasure hunt, Jed told me that I "just said a bad word." Immediately, my mind went on rewind. When? Where? What did I say? As far as I knew, I was just telling them, "There are still several pictures left. Look around. They're just somewhere in this room." Well, I never got to figure out what the "bad word" he thought I said was, but I told myself that I'd have to be more careful. He may have heard wrong, but I didn't want to give him the impression that it was okay to say what he thought he heard. Mark 9:42 seems to be the verse that fits this entry: "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck."

Puts me in mind to what my 10:30 group discussed during the Sunday School Retreat a few weeks back. When Nanay Tess asked us to share our own thoughts about being teachers, I answered, "We shouldn't be telling our students to do what we ourselves cannot do." I don't know why I keep doing that: giving answers and hitting myself in the process. For some apparent reason, I'm fond of self-inflicted injury (someone tell me if that's even normal!). But I really meant what I said. And let's face reality. You tell your students, "Don't lie." when just yesterday, you told your teacher that your pet camel ate your homework. You tell them, "Keep quiet so that the others can listen." when you yourself can't keep your big mouth shut when your group is done praying and another group isn't. You tell them "Don't fight." when you have a very long hit-list written in flowery stationery hidden deep inside your closet. Do this, do that, do this, do that. One word: hypocrite.
I'm doing it again--self-inflicted injury--and I'm using my blog as a medium.

Right. For my readers out there, you may not be teachers. Chances are, though, you are group leaders, older siblings, parents etc. In other words, you are people that those younger than you look up to and imitate. Be very careful. You are shaping the next batch of people who will eventually take your place in this world. Watch your words. Watch your actions. Watch your thoughts. It's not a pleasant experience to be a hundred fathoms under the sea with a millstone tied around your neck.


Was just about to sign out of my Yahoo! messenger yesterday when Jade went online and gave me something that I badly needed: a hugging emoticon and a bunch of encouraging messages. Thanks Jade! Once again, you've managed to make me feel better. It's just too bad that I can't get in touch with you quite as often nowadays. Hope to catch you again soon though. Our last conversation was left unfinished. I miss you so very much! ^_^


I'm left with the question: "Now what?" Lord knows I really have to start somewhere now, otherwise it wouldn't amount to anything at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:37 PM  
Blogger cherished soul said...

you just threw a bomb and hit a direct target--me. don't worry, it's a habit of mine too. it's scary, but true!

2:48 AM  

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