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A Day to be Thankful For

posted Nov 23, 2010, 7:06 PM by Unknown user
I know that I should probably write here more, but sometimes I think that I have to have something profound to say before I write. (I can hear you all saying, "Really? So all those postings were supposed to be profound? You could knock me over with a feather!) I think I need to get over this profundity expectation and hope that I just manage not to bore you.

Today was a sweet day to be the principal of Greater Grace Christian Academy. I had three invitations to visit classrooms and one invitation to an after school meeting with some teachers. 

I spent the ten o'clock hour in Mr. Janssen's biology class viewing the science posters they had made about different biomes and asking the students questions about their research. The students had worked in small groups of two or three to compose their posters to Mr. Janssen's specifications (he has had great experience creating scientific posters and presenting them at science conferences these past few summers for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his work is considered outstanding), and the posters showed varying degrees of creativity and design ability. The students also displayed different levels of confidence in public speaking, especially when posed with questions that asked them to give answers that were not explicit from their research, questions that took them out of their comfort zone. I enjoyed myself very much in the company of these young men and women of science; the did fine work and Mr. Janssen is to be commended for teaching them several valuable skills through this project.

The eleven o'clock hour was spent in the company of five- and six-year-old pilgrims and native Americans who were celebrating the first Thanksgiving in poetry, song, and colorful costumes they had made. The kindergarten class got a chance to shine for their families and me, especially when they sang their Thanksgiving song, the same song that brought last Friday's chapel crowd to applaud and cheer wildly; they even did an encore at the end of the chapel. Miss Anderson and Miss Diane did a wonderful job preparing the class for their presentation and organizing the yummy feast. We were even able to celebrate Miss Isabella Singh's birthday with pink frosted cupcakes and a chorus of Happy Birthday. I was blessed to spend some time in Miss Anderson's reading chair reading two Thanksgiving stories (one about a family of turkeys - yes, turkeys, celebrating Thanksgiving with a big dinner featuring a main course of... well that would be giving the story's end away). We all posed for a photo at the end of story time and I was almost crushed by all the love.

The twelve o'clock hour was spent in the company of the third and second grades who were gathered in Mrs. Savonen's classroom for four student-written and performed Thanksgiving plays. There were more pilgrims, but they were far outnumbered by the native Americans in the room. It seems that those costumes were more fun to wear with their feathered headbands, tomahawks, bear tooth necklaces, and other paraphernalia. Mrs. Williams's second grade brought their chairs to the class and was a well-behaved audience. The class had built a makeshift tepee sort of shelter on their "stage" and at one point incorporated live streamed video into one of the plays via the classroom projector. Overall, it was a good experience for the students who learned that it isn't always easy to tell a good story in play form. Mega bonus points for Mrs. Savonen's boldness to make this happen and her great patience in the process. She is welcome to come help with the church Easter play in the spring!

Finally, at the end of my day, I got to sit down with our three awesome upper elementary school teachers and discuss ways to help our new teacher, Miss Locke, by addressing questions she had about things she wanted to do in her sixth grade class. I was blessed by the wisdom and experience shared by Mrs. Wright and Ms. Beinroth. It was the end of a long day for all of us, but you would not have guessed it by the spirit and vitality in that classroom. God truly used the time to encourage and edify and I left the meeting so impressed by the quality of the teachers in our fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classrooms. They, and all of the other hardworking teachers of GGCA, deserve this short break we have to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for each one of them, and I am sure our parents must be too.

Have a great Turkey Day! I will be baking two varieties of pumpkin pie tomorrow after I don't wake at 5:40 am for work. I hope to see you all in church if you're in town for the holiday.