I teach 2nd grade Sunday school, which is a complete joy, even though 12 eight year-olds can be rough. Yesterday, I got to learn the lesson. There is this sweet, very energetic girl in my class. She is a girl that I have thought about before as she seems to be “left out”. The other girls tolerate her but also seem to not make a point to sit by her. I noticed this a while back but since I didn’t really know, I let it go. She is the sweetest girl to them- when one comes in late, she’ll say, “yay, so and so is here” or like yesterday, “I get to sit by so and so, this is exciting since it’s been so long”.
So this brings me to yesterday. This girl was very energetic, as usual. She was moving things around, interrupting others, and just loud. So when she was trying to move something or fiddle, I put my hand on top of hers to get her to stop. She turned it into the game where you try to get your hand on top. So we played that for a while and had a small conversation while still keeping the lesson going. She said to me that my skin was so fair compared to hers (yes, this is very true, as I am very pale).
I explained how I have Swedish in my background and she replied with how she has a very little Native American in hers. I said that was the same as my dad, who also has a very little French in him. I said how he was much darker than me, like her. I told her I take after my mom, who was also very pale. She than said that she hopes that she doesn’t take after her mom. I asked her why and her reply was that she was f a t. It did take me a second to figure out what she meant (kind of cute spelling it out- like us parents tend to do when we don’t want super young kids to understand us).
I turned to her and said you know that can play into health, a medical type condition. She, then, said to me that they think her mom might have diabetes. I told her that I have a daughter with diabetes and she looked shocked. I said there are different kinds and this is not something that you can help because it is something in the body. I told her how K has to take up to 5 shots a day because of hers and her mouth dropped. She wanted to meet her.
Oh how I wish I had the time to really talk to her. After, we huddled for a game and she wanted to be close to me. She needed contact- she didn’t mind the hand game because she needed that. After all this, I just felt like she puts on this tough act because she is craving the attention. She talks all the time, interrupts all the time, is very distracting to the class- you know the kid that I’m talking about if you ever been in a classroom.
Have you ever stopped to think about this kid? The longer that I work with the kids in the Church, the more I realize that this is their safe place. They want to thrive. There is no judgement. I remember volunteering when my kids were little in there 2nd grade math class. There was this boy that was like this and I remember the teacher telling me that it is sad because the parents of this boy did not care. She or the school would call them and they would not do anything about his behavior. They didn’t come to anything or participate at all. So in a way the school was raising this kid. This is sad.
Back to Sunday school; I’ve seen kids who are so shy, open up and really participate. They have so much fun. They just want to feel a part of something and this is somewhere that they can go to learn and know that they are cared about. By now, you are probably wondering how I was able to have so much side conversation. I co-teach and this was my week off. So I sit with the kids and “learn” with them. I participate and help to keep those who are a bit more energetic to keep peace. It is an awesome experience to be on both ends of the teaching and learning.
I love my journey in giving back.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-