Friday, February 21, 2014

President's Day

If anyone were to ask me about my favorite subject in school, I would have immediately answered social studies. That seems a bit strange considering the fact that none of my higher learning concentrations were in social studies. However, I always loved to teach my students about geography and the American Presidents. While American politics can often be a difficult topic to discuss, I find it so important we teach our students about founding fathers and some of the great leaders from this country. They loved being able to take a virtual Skype field trip to the Ford Theater. They also enjoyed seeing the homes of Washington and Jefferson through on-line tours.
When I was young, my dad had encouraged me to memorize all of the Presidents of the United States. He then added the Vice-Presidents. I must admit, there was a bribe included in this bet. I used to encourage my students to do the same. We would have weekly quizzes, and we used the following video to help them memorize it. We averaged 10 new presidents each week. It also gave them a mini-history lesson as we went. I would catch them singing it throughout the day. What a fantastic way to learn! Enjoy!

I will put a little bit of a disclaimer in. The video is not necessarily suitable for every grade level and should monitored for usage.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

What is Love?

What is love? If you are a teacher, Valentine's Day consists of decorated mailboxes, ensuring that every child has a copy of the class list for name writing, and students that have enjoyed a little too much sugar. Is that love? When I walk into Lutheran schools, I see acts of love everywhere. I see the student that offers to help a younger child tie his shoe. I see the parent offering to bring in a cold treat on a hot day. I see the retired pastor coming to the school to help students with their homework.


In my former ministry, the parents planned Valentine's Day parties for the classroom. After a few games, they passed out the treats for the kids. I am walking around chatting with them and capturing their joy in the classroom. As I was doing so, I stopped in front of one student's desk. A little background on this student: This student's red hair, freckles, and mischievous grin give away every bit of the class clown that he is. However, he is also caring and quite the engineer. In addition, he holds a very special place in my heart, but that is a story for another day. As I come to his desk, I find him sitting there looking at this cookie and the pretzel bits he used to make the three crosses.

Now, isn't that the act of ultimate love? God sent His son to die on the cross for our sins. There is nothing that we have to do to earn that forgiveness. He has given it to us as believers in Christ. He loves us, he cares for us, and we are His children. There is no great love than this!

Where do you see love in your school?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Importance of Team Ministry

What does team ministry look like? With all the discussion regarding marketing in our schools, I think it is still important to avoid competition for power and value and accept input from each other. The early church was founded by a team of 12 apostles. We know of the missionary venture of Paul and Barnabas. In Ephesians 5:21, the Bible asks all believers to submit to one another in love. This takes a level a spiritual maturity that we find in Titus 1:5-9. We are motivated by service, not recognition or influence. We have passion to see the church grow by God's grace.

What are some team killers?

  • Pride - Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
  • Lack of Acceptance of Outsiders - And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
  • Suspicion - I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • Inflexibility - I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. Philippians 4:12-14
  • Docility - All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
How is your school working together as a team?