Thursday, December 20, 2012

At School With Mr. Smith

A couple of days ago, my friend Ruthann and I went to visit her son's 4th grade classroom. And although in our minds, it's easy to think of him as a 4th grader, he is, in fact, the teacher.

Yes, this little cutie, pictured here all wet from a water ride on one of our trips to Kings' Island together, is all grown up and teaching his own students. How. Does. That. Happen?
It was so much fun to see him in action. He was great with the kids, and they were well mannered and respectful. They were quiet and attentive, engaged in the lesson, and obviously adore their teacher. Of course.
During their guided reading time, we pulled them out into the hallway individually to do a little project Ruthann had seen on Pinterest. So cute.
They willingly and cooperatively posed for the two crazy ladies they had never seen before. Of course if you're the mom of Mr. Smith (or even his 'might as well be my aunt') you have a sure in with this group.
We even got a little silly ourselves experimenting with pose ideas.
After the pictures were taken, we had a chance to sit in on the end of the lesson.
Then we got to work printing and cropping the photos.
Soon it was time to put things away and get ready for dismissal. Mr. Smith had them put their reading boxes away by those whose classroom number was a multiple of 3, then 4, and so on, until all boxes were lined up in order on the shelf. That number stuff always makes my palms sweat, and I'm pretty sure I had tears in my eyes imagining my fourth grade self trying to figure it out. There's a reason I kept kleenex in my math book.
It is great to see young teachers like Mr. Smith who are passionate and enthusiastic about teaching. It is obvious how he cares for each student, is aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and recognizes individuality and potential in each one. He is following in the footsteps of some pretty great teachers in his own family, so it's not surprising.
We cropped the photos, and mounted them on construction paper,
laminated them, punched, and tied a ribbon at the top. All set for a holiday gift as a bookmark or ornament!
Mr. Smith and his mama.
As we were leaving, he showed us his discipline chart. The students start with their clips on 'Ready to Learn,' and clip up or down depending on the choices they make during the day. He described a similar chart he has for his roommates in the house he shares with 3 other guys. Hopefully, it is as successful in eliciting the desired behavior with that group as it is with the 4th graders! :)
We had a great time, and it was a blessing to spend the day with my friend Ruthann. I would be grateful if you would join me in prayer for her as she faces treatment for cancer. You can read about her journey here.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, 
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 15:13

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