Our little one had her first promotion today, moving up from the nursery to the 2-year-olds’ Bible class. If I were at all concerned about her making that transition, I needn’t have worried. Ms. Debbie met her at the door and welcomed her in with a big smile. And Ms. Cindy, already seated at the teaching table, looked up and beamed, “Remington! I’ve been waiting for this day for two years!”
What a welcome! Now, I’m not completely delusional…Ms. Cindy loves children and she probably said that to every toddler who darkened the door. But the point is, how could you not be excited to be in a class where you were so warmly welcomed ?
Good teachers present quality instruction. But with great teachers, there’s a whole lot of teaching that goes on outside “the lesson.” I know the 2-year-olds received some excellent Bible teaching once that bell rang, but I also believe Remi had been taught several lessons before she ever made it to her wee, colorful chair:
I am loved.
I am wanted here.
I am in a safe, happy place.
Learning about God will be fun.
(Add in a story, snacks, songs, and stickers, and this was a very happy morning for these newly-promoted toddlers.)
Thinking about this experience reminded me of another special teacher…
We were visiting our dear friends in Kentucky and were excited about worshiping all together Sunday morning, but when we pulled into the parking lot of the church building, Addy started to get nervous. Four years old at the time, she wanted to know where we were and what we were doing.
We explained that we were on our way to worship, just like every Sunday morning, but she became more agitated and cried out, “No, this is the wrong church!” We continued reassuring her that there are places all around the world where the Bible is taught and that we can worship wherever we happen to be and not just while we’re in Texas.
By this point she was in tears. We continued to try to figure out the reason for her distress, and eventually we were able to coax an explanation out of her. With round, wide eyes and a voice filled with panic, Addy exclaimed, “I CAN’T go to this church! I need to go to OUR church! Mrs. Vickers is WAITING for me. If I’m not there, Mrs. Vickers will MISS ME!”
That was it. Addy wasn’t worried about doctrine, and she wasn’t worried about geography. She simply knew that she had a teacher back home who loved her, was expecting her, and would miss her if she didn’t show up. I want to be that kind of teacher.
I’m pretty sure Mrs. Vickers didn’t have those things in her lesson notes. She just exudes a sweet friendliness that lets her students know she’s glad they came. She shows them a glimpse of what it means to experience God’s love. And even at four years of age, they get it.
I am thankful for these sweet ladies. I am thankful for all those who motivate us to be better teachers and role models. And I am thankful for those who share their time and energy to help our kids follow the Greatest Teacher who ever walked the earth.