We are rejoicing in the 3 rd and 4 th grades. God has seen 9 of this class’s students through who have finished this year. I want to congratulate this class as I do all classes at the end-of- the-year. Particularly, the pride and joy I have for this class. The title of this article explains it for me. As I look back, this year started like any other year with its share of incidents, but it allowed the students to come together and build us up. Rough patches were the departure of 2 of my students who I have a special concern for. One of the students left to be with family in another state and the other chose not to be here anymore. All my students deal with pressures of family, home, and school and I do truly want them to feel they have choices and feel good about their choices. It was tough, because not seeing eye-to- eye and his choice to go elsewhere hurts. Although, the purpose was not only for him to make his choice, but for me to find peace and love out of others decisions. I praise God for these young students, I know that they learn while here, and that God can use all things: a class, a choice, a memory, a word to bring them to Him.
The rest of the class was able to come together and work on their choices. They have come through well after the loss of these students. The class decided to learn from each other and work hard. They grew better at complementing each other’s strengths. One thing that excites me more than anything as a teacher is when a class strives for something. The desire to practice good behavior at this age needs a very conscience effort and the help of a few incentives. This class is commended on their great, overall behavior this year as the first class I have had to celebrate a behavior award party each quarter for all four quarters of the year. I reminded them almost every day that no class has ever had a total of four parties for their good behavior. This really pushed them to not get any “cards flipped”, infractions, and not hurt the class as a whole by their weekly behavior. Our theme on this behavior campaign, every morning, was: “Your choices, Your actions, Your life.” And their lives showed a difference. It is a joy to continue to push through these last few weeks on level ground, positive behavior, and end with great, student results.
The thoughts behind the title of this article come from my class’s response to studying apostles, particularly the life of Paul. An apostle was explained as someone who chooses to take Jesus with them wherever they go and proclaim God’s word. An apostle is someone God sends out taking pride in the word of God and sharing it with others. As student’s listened without any real prompting, they began saying that they could be future apostles someday. This led to questions and answers about ways they can take Jesus with them wherever they go and times that they prayed or told a Bible story outside of class. As we explored the concept of striving to know and share Jesus they got excited and especially me. Thank God for these times of discussion. Praise God for His work and commitment in all of our lives to help others. Thank God for how His word empowers future, spiritual leaders. It has been wonderful this year to hear my class openly offer up their prayer requests, cares, and concerns to Him. This excites me and praise God for His alive and active spirit. Again, we are rejoicing in God’s presence, we thank Him for continued class unity, and for the new class coming-in. I pray for the bright, spiritual futures of all my students by name and I am encouraged in the blessing of all those who are faithful to the children of Immanuel Mission.