Life inside a first grade classroom is always amazing. Students say the cutest, ironic, smartest, clever and sometimes most amazing things! Yesterday was one of those “Wow” moments for me. As an experienced teacher, I can say it was a day I’ll never forget. One of our class’ words of the day yesterday was the word future. The kids were assigned a fun writing project with the word future. They were given a time to write about their predictions and thoughts for the future.
After watching the kids work feverishly on their writing and illustrations it was time for them to present to the class. I heard predictions of new game systems, automated pencils, glasses…that read to the student, and many more clever kid-friendly inventions…and then the unexpected. A little girl who had been unusually quiet that morning and who had also had trouble staying awake due to nightmares the night before began reading her paper with the following statement. “I think a terrible earthquake will happen tomorrow May 21, 2011…” I stopped her and ask her if she had been watching the news. She nodded and lowered her head. Questions and statements began to buzz around the room from other six and seven year olds who were confused, scared and curious. I decided to put an end to the conversation as it was truly an inappropriate conversation for first grade students, but there was still an air of fear, confusion and curiosity that filled the room. Just as I began to explain about why they should not worry, the “Wow” moment arrived! A little boy who is always willing to volunteer information about what happened in his Sunday school class or sermon at church spoke up with a voice of sincerity.
He said, “That’s all a bunch of bologna! People can’t predict when that’s going to happen! The bible says that no one knows when the Lord is coming back for his children. It says that even the angels in heaven don’t know. That’s not going to happen tomorrow!”
The little girl turned to me for answers with her tired eyes awaiting my reply.
“He is correct, that is what the bible teaches us.” Then I turned the subject around focusing on the fun day that lay ahead with the inflatable menagerie that awaited the kids outside in honor of the year of hard work! The mood lightened, the fear left the little girl’s eyes, and everyone had a wonderful worry free day filled with kid-friendly activities.
Quietly, I found a way to thank the little boy for his answer and for calming a little girl’s fear of her world coming to an end the next day. I also told him how proud I was of him for knowing the word of God through paying attention to his Sunday school teacher and Pastor. I also commended him for being brave enough to speak up and share God’s word with others. What a remarkable young man.