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Monday, July 11, 2011

Nap Time

Just had my first nap of the day - after "babysitting" oopps I mean "teaching" 67 preschoolers! Our Vacation Bible School started today and I am exhausted!!
I came "late" to Bible School - since I didn't start coming to church until I was in 9th grade, I never experienced the thrill of signing in, wearing an itchy name tage, listening to the little old ladies teach about Jesus and eat my juice and cookie.
Instead when I was in high school I used to take a week of vacation from my job and volunteer to help that week. Usually I would help with 8 or 9 year olds.
When I eventually married the guy who would be in charge of Vacation Bible School I got pretty good at volunteering! I would usually teach whatever class my kids were in and as they "graduated" to 6th grade, they would help me.
A few years ago, we took over pre-school. Call it insanity, or poor memory, but every year I anticipate a meaningful interaction with each 4year old. NOT! With so many little ones and a tight rotation schedule, I'm lucky to make eye contact with each child. Being the head teacher means putting out fires, emergency bathroom breaks and calmling anxious parents - yes, parents - usually a screaming child will calm down within 5 minutes of mom leaving, but when Mom stands in the back of the room, right in her child's line of vision, the crying may never cease!
What I do love about doing this is watching the teenage helpers lead out! I have always known that given the chance, teens will rise to the occassion and outshine any adult when they care for kids - they remember what it is like and they have endless energy! So with so many preschoolers, I get to encourage my teen helpers to step up and soothe a crying child, sit with a nervous newcomer or talk to a child about Christ for the first time!
It is so exciting to see them grow up before my eyes and take the lead! Over the years, my own kids have worked with me and now they lead their own departments - one is in charge of teaching and the other is running games (and one is in school in Florida and the other is on vacation with his friend! - VBS isn't for everyone!!)
I always think of this as the reward of parenting - after all those reprimands, instruction, teachable moments, you get to sit back and watch them put it into practice. I encourage you to include your kids in your service, teaching them what it is to help others - by doing so, you are teaching them that the world is bigger than themselves and that sure does make sense to me.

6 comments:

  1. No boring cookies for snack for you! ;) I only went to vbs maybe once as a kid too, so I never really got the experience until my kids went. What a blessing it is!

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  2. I too am so encouraged to watch the teenagers at church step up and volunteer for vbs. I was really in awe that they seemed to enjoy it.

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  3. Yeah for you posting and yeah for you being in preschool again :) Morgan remembered snack in absolute photographic memory detail...doesnt't even remember that she heard a Bible story...hmmmmm

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  4. actually - Morgan was the only one who ate her whole snack and at one point had the tortilla unrolled and was licking out all her icing!!

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  5. Mary, you are a GREAT teacher and my kids always have great stories of how you handled a "situation". Praying the second day goes so smooth and less fires to put out!!

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