For the past 2 years, I have had the privilege of working as an aide in the three-year-old classroom at Georgia Christian School. In that time, I have had countless people tell me they could never do my job. I’ve discovered that a large portion of the population is completely intimidated by these little humans who barely come up to my waist, and at times I understand why. After my first week, I had to invest in the economy-size packs of latex gloves at Sam’s–if it comes out of an orifice, I have cleaned it. When faced with mysterious smells, I have sniffed bottoms and pleaded that the responsible party speak now or forever hold his peace (or stink). I have sat through and given serious lectures on the importance of not eating out of the trash can, how we do not put beans in our noses…or ears, and, my personal favorite, why we cannot pee our pants on the playground. This very effective lecture was followed by a child pulling his pants down and peeing in the mulch about five minutes into recess😒. You can’t fault his logic though!
Even though there are times when I’ve wanted to pull my ears off if I heard another child say my name (26 kids saying my name a minimum 18 times a piece each day is the closest approximation to infinity that I will ever need, thank you very much), I’ve cherished my time in K3 with Ms. Lori Renfro and her crazy kids. I’ve learned so many lessons from my wonderful good friend and lead teacher and all of our sweet students, too! Most of those lessons would help us all to be better people. It is true that Jesus loves the little children, and He told us to become like them (Mark 10:14). If He saw value in the things they could teach us, maybe you’ll find value in the lessons I’ve learned in my short time in Ms. Lori’s class.
- We are all friends here. Wouldn’t the world be a happier place if we all lived like this?! “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:10
- When people are hurt and crying, they need you to hold their hand and get them some help. You don’t need to be big, strong, eloquent, or wise to help someone. Do what you can to bring them to the One who is able. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27
- We may not make much money, but we are paid in unconditional love. Money runs out, but love never fails. “A good name is to be more desired than great riches, Favor is better than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1
- No time is the wrong time to give someone a hug or tell them that you love them. In preschool, we learn to brace ourselves for random, running hugs. I don’t even know who is hugging me half the time. Wise Ms. Lori pointed out to me how blessed we are because some folks don’t get hugged or touched all day. I’m pretty sure I meet my weekly hug quota by 8 am Monday morning, and I love it! “…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,” “And [Jesus] took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Ecclesiastes 3:5, Mark 10:16
- Praying is a privilege–be proud to lead and do it often! How eager our boys are to lead the prayer. Their prayers are simple and honest, and I wish we all trusted in the Lord who hears our prayers as they do. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14
- Share because it doesn’t really belong to you anyways. It is so much easier to give something away when you recognize the source from whom it came. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:42
- Accidents happen. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
- Clean up after yourself. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,” Isaiah 1:16
- Singing makes you happy and helps you learn. Is there anything sweeter than the sound of little child singing praises to God?! “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
- Treat strangers as potential friends. Hospitality to strangers is a teaching of Christ. We love, and reach out to others, because He first loved us. “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13
- We all love to stare when people are in trouble– learn from their mistakes. Don’t be like Bob😉. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” “A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 , Proverbs 14:16
- A failure to discipline now brings worse problems later! Spanking a child is absolutely zero fun. Nothing ruins mine and Ms. Lori’s day worse than having to spank a child. The only thing worse is being around a disrespectful, unruly child and not being able to do anything about it. Discipline them now, and endure their tears; or spend much time in tears later wishing you had. “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
As I reflect on my time in preschool, I am sad to be leaving. Next year, Lord willing, I will be teaching English Language Arts to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders (prayers appreciated!). I expect similar amounts of tears, drama, and mysterious smells, but I hope to leave my latex gloves with Ms. Lori. Sadly, I will miss the million hugs and “I love you”s every day. I will miss daily talks with my other mother, Ms. Lori, and I will miss the sweet innocence and wonder of three-year-olds. I am sure I will find satisfaction in helping students learn to write as well as using literature to help open their worlds. However, wherever I go, I will take these lessons I’ve learned in preschool with me, and I hope they will help me to have a more Christ-like spirit. Jesus saw wisdom in the way children received Him, and He said, “the kingdom belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14). Lord, help me learn from my three-year-olds!