Angela3rdGradePoem I’ve been blessed to teach a class of 3rd grade students this year at a wonderful private school. They are as much my teachers as they are my students. They have been part of my strength.

These three short stories show how special they are, and how special our school is to all who are connected to the school family.

I was honored to be able to read it during a recent school benefit.

A Death, a New Kid, and $3.50

Rebecca arrived in the classroom tearful yet resolved to share
how a dear family friend had lost her father
in the cancer fight that previous night
(Her own father has been battling cancer for several months)

That morning’s Bible lesson was a fictional story of a young boy whose Grandpa had died
As I read the story, I saw the student’s tears and heard her cries as she confessed,
“I don’t want my dad to die like Mrs. B’s dad died.”
After prompting them to do so, my class of eight and nine-year-olds
almost instinctively surrounded their classmate,
placing their hands on her, ready to comfort and intercede for her
And yet their prayers weren’t all for the her dad’s healing but for the will of God
and for God to give her strength no matter what He chose to do

That very same day, after experiencing the joys and thrills of Snack Shack
David burst into the class with angry tears at the realization
that his $3.50 of food and drink had been a waste
He left early that day and in his absence I explained his angry tears to my class

One student immediately pulled a remaining quarter from his bag of Snack Shack change
and quietly said, “I want David to have this.”
And like a train of willing hearts, student after student
took some change from their own bag
In the end, they had collected $7.00 of change to give to David,
their teammate, friend, and brother-in-Christ

A week later, we had a prospective student shadow in our class
Jeremy arrived that morning almost feeling sick with the unknowns of the situation
and yet after his visit, his mom emailed that he hadn’t wanted to leave
Before he left that day, I asked my class to pray for Jeremy
as he finished the year at his public school
The next day Jeremy’s mom dropped off a one-page letter
that Jeremy had voluntarily written thanking us for his experience visiting our class

Although some may wonder why parents invest a large financial sum
into sending their child to our school
After teaching 3rd Grade for one year
I know why . . .

A moment of uncertainty in the face of death
handled with honesty, comfort, and deep wisdom

A moment for grasping one’s small sum of financial riches
Became a moment for compassion and great generosity

And a new kid who felt sick at his arrival to visit our school
Was a moment for surrounding him with our love, acceptance, and friendship

I saw it in a death, a new kid, and $3.50

The blessings of embracing vibrant faith at an early age
is worth every penny invested in a student’s education at our school

(Names have been changed)

(Originally posted on SansoneSPOT)

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