“I don’t know your connection to God…”

all-students-literacy-2I ran a Literacy Games & Activities workshop today. It was, in my opinion, uneven in what I presented, in that the parents expected something that I was not prepared for: getting their kids ready for the state tests. It’s not how or why I teach: teaching to a test is, to me, what is wrong with education today. There is an entire process that needs to be developed, and working on that product (which is what a test ultimately is) goes against my grain.

So, I applied what I could to the various age range in front of me (preK through 5th graders), and for some of the adults who did not speak any English. At times, I was sweating bullets, seeing that what I was doing was not working properly. I had to spin gears immediately and “make lemonade out of the lemons” that I was producing. In the end, I know I did the best I could. People came late (very late, in some cases), some kept going in and out of the session, new ones arrived, and yet…it worked, for the most part. Part two of the workshops happens next Saturday, and I’ll (hopefully) be better prepared.

Now, to the title of this piece…

One of the mothers stayed at the end while I was packing up. She told me not only how much she got out of the session for her kids, but also what a great teacher I am, and that I should be picked up by some school, as she greatly appreciated the way I worked with these kids. “I don’t know your connection to God,” she said, “but I am going to pray that a school takes you on.” She went on to say how they need teachers like me, in the way that I interacted, how I brought things out in the kids without pushing or needling, how I brought a safe environment to learn.

This, of course, put me in my “aw, shucks” mode. Praise like this is humbling.

I hope to live up to these expectations, and I hope that God is listening to her prayers, and mine, and my friends. I know I should be doing something in my discipline, my passion, so that  I can shine through and give to others.

I sometimes don’t know what my connection to God is myself. Sometimes? Most times. It’s not for lack of trying. I’m surrounded by so many good people, and at times, for me, that is what I see as my connection to God.

For me, it’s a start.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on April 13, 2013, in Caring, counseling, Family, Friends, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You are connected, Stuart, connected to the One who has loved you unconditionally from the day you were born.
    I used to teach . . . Your reflection resonated within me all the reasons why. We want to make a difference, to leave our imprint, for the love of God, on this planet, that his Kingdom will come and be fulfilled. We try. We succeed. We fail. But, all is done within His wondrous grace. For that, we can always be thankful.
    Blessings to you!

  2. So, as I see it you have two topics…(Or, as they say in some circles, the drash and the pshat…)
    The Pshat.. is the fixation Americans seem to have on passing the test. To prove- what? Does a PhD make you a better person? Is s/he better than the auto mechanic who charges a reasonable fee to keep your car working? And, is the test really measuring what is important to have accrued during an education. (My feelings: http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress/tests-long/ It’s a life-long process).
    The Drash…. Doing what we do each day should make this world a better place. Not because someone passed a test (although, I am not denigrating that), but to give someone a better feeling, a better chance, and that’s an important effort.
    Great post, Stuart.

  3. High praise may be humbling, even embarrassing, but it sure feels good when you think back on it, doesn’t it? Kudos to you sir.

    • I wasn’t embarrassed…I needed to hear the words she bestowed upon me. It felt good then: it made me real quiet, and humbled is the only thing I can say. Thanks Doug…here’s to brighter days for us all.

  4. From her (and our) lips to God’s ear, Stu. As I see it, teaching is a hard job, it’s not like producing a product. It’s a process. I’m sure you’ll improve upon the next half of the workshop.

  5. As I see it Stuart, this parent carried a message for you. You are a great teacher, that much is clear from the fact that you were sweating bullets trying to make it happen for each and every person at your session. You care, you understand the difference between rote learning to manage a test and education for future thinkers. This marks you are a great teacher…no a true educator.
    Sometimes you just need to hear your own truth to be renewed. Blessings to you as you are to the students you teach.

    • Bonnie, thank you so much for these words. I’ve been struggling all day with all of this. Need to hear it again and again until I really believe it myself, wholly.

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