If want to hear pure prayers of desperation, then be a fly on the wall when teachers cry out to God. I know, because I am a teacher. Believe me, God and I have had a lot of chat.
I have the cutest little four year old, Elsa, with whom I am attempting to teach English as a second language. I work with VIPkids, so teaching English is my wonderful focus. There are many things that students learn, but they really aren’t seeable. Teaching English certainly is because one day you start having small conversations with the child who knew no English when you started teaching them a month ago.
Elsa is a four year old sweetheart. She is very smart, but it is difficult to know because she is usually flitting off screen (teaching online is part of the brilliance of VIPkid”s method). Many times I get her back to the screen with my brilliant kazoo melodies (especially Disney’s “Let it Go”, the song from the story where she chose her English name). Once a tambourine did the trick (my apologies to my daughter Jessica who was trying to sleep one floor below me).
Then there was the introduction to English letter names. When it came down to it, Elsa just didn’t see the point. This started up my pure prayers of desperation (God, help! How do I get her to care about her letters?). I have been walking around for a few days praying over and over and thinking through options.
God gave me the two answers I needed:
- Show her that my name and her name have 3 our of 4 letters in common (L, S, A).
- Distract her loss of focus with something quiet and beautiful.
Brilliance. Just pure brilliance. And it worked perfectly! As soon as she quieted down and looked on in amazement at the intersection of our names, I had her. Now letters were important and changed her whole mindset. THANK YOU, GOD!!!!
When I turned my mic on one day I could tell that she was excited and already jumping all over her poor mom. I grabbed my Gazebo music box with a man and woman dancing and put it up to my mic. I just gave her the sound until she quieted and came up to the screen wondering what she was going to see. I turned the camera on and had the man and woman right up close. This moved her close to the screen as well. We talked about how beautiful the music box was and she was in. On to the lesson. (To be honest, this was the lesson I eventually pulled the tambourine out on (I really am sorry, Jesc)). But this was the first lesson with a lot of quiet moments of learning and wonderment, my goal.
Elsa is making me a better teacher and God is providing answers to questions I have no idea how to answer. So as I teach Elsa, I grow in my own wonderment at how wonderful God is. Who says there isn’t prayer in school…?