Let me share a visual summary of where God took me in February! Some things are new, some things are old, many things are fabulous.
The Kids are Alright ( and Some of My Favorite Projects this Month)
Since we’ve gotten back into the classroom this month, things are continuing to get better and better! I have been very high on life and the Holy Spirit lately when it comes to work, and seem to be debating, studying, and teaching in my dreams. Here is a highlight of the many things we’ve done since returning to the classroom! Not even a burst radiator and a change of classroom could slow us down.
- Although I wasn’t originally excited about this, we’ve changed our daily schedule for in-person students to add 15 minutes to our morning and afternoon Zoom calls. This has allowed us to re-start book clubs (more about that at the end of this post), and get more whole-class math review through 99Math.
- I’ve helped most of my students connect to the Libby app, where they can use their library card numbers to read many free e-books from the DC library (including many high interest series and graphic novels)
- In processing this change, I was able to use the ideas of colleagues to create a morning chapter book reading and afternoon writing practice block. My students are enjoying the break from screens and seem relieved to have a challenge. I see how industrious they’ve been lately and I get the sense they have craved that sense of agency and purpose.
- I also used these printable writing calendar prompts to make our monthly Creative Writing Challenge bilingual.
- Several students and I got to learn about mixed number fractions in the park last week in the 70 degree weather! I taught with whiteboards and dry erase markers, they brought their math books, my principal and school community afforded us plenty of liberty to get outside, and many strangers’ dogs listened eagerly.
- As students studied the Civil Rights movement through the lens of Biblical anti-racism this month, I have been planning a virtual field trip next week for them with a school alumni member who was one of our school’s first African American students after desegregation. They will examine school photos I’ve compiled, describe how the school has changed, reflect on the ways our school as changed, and dreams we have for it’s future. I’m excited to share parts of this timeline I created with them with them (from my research)!
- Both my tutoring group (3 neighborhood second graders) AND my 3rd graders have been excited to do Close Reading with books about Dog Breeds and The History of House Cats.
- I figured out how to MacGyver a broken face mask!
- 13 of my Fourth graders are doing Inquiry Projects this month related to 4 themes they’ve chosen. A solid amount of my group are going to be challenged to relate their faith to different video games. They’re off to a great start, and I’m very curious to see how it will turn out!
- Last week, my Fourth graders each wrote their own prayer for a country in Central Asia, the Middle East, or North Africa and the African Islands! We will finish our Praying for the Nations project this month by individually composing prayers this Friday for East Africa, South Asia, Gaza, Chiapas, and more! I can’t wait to write about how it has turned out.
- This month, I’ve savored the scent of hyacinth and celebrated the beauty of living creatures with students. We are very excited to see the return of hyacinths, daffodils, lilacs, tulips, grape hyacinth, and all of wonderful spring flowers some day soon.
- After starting the live Zoom trainings for the Glasgow Prophetic Centre’s Emerging Prophet’s Program, a conversation I had led me to snag these beautiful sunflowers as a reminder of God’s grace and the new things he is doing in the Earth
- With no side effects, I am now fully vaccinated against COVID-19! It’s a little mind-blowing that the same day I will receive full immunity (2 weeks after my appointment) will be March 13th, a full one year after to the day after D.C.P.S. (District of Columbia Public Schools) shut down last Spring. While the outstanding ways the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools have coped with the pandemic has allowed me to be in the classroom live teaching at various points this year, it’s very strange to come back upon the one year mark. I have decided to resist self-pity or fear of the unknown and declare that March 13th will be an invisible line in the sand, to crossover into whatever new and better things are coming.
- With extra free time that resulted from greater peace with God, I cooked a ridiculous amount of food this month! Check out some of my dishes below.
This month has been one of:
- Growing in intimacy with Jesus
- Rest instead of dryness
- Increased freedom as I ignore distractions and burdens that aren’t mine to carry
- Overcoming boredom or irritation to remain focused on God
- Greater awareness of what God is doing around me, increasing skill
- Times where it suddenly occurred to me to talk to God about thoughts or emotions that I had yet to name before
- High energy and expectation
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
- With just 2 weeks until the rough draft of my Contextual Study is due, I am just under halfway done writing my paper! This research process has lasted since July and I am very excited and confident about it coming to a close.
In this project, I’ve learned so many skills about giving and summarizing interviews, creating pivot tables to analyze data, archival scanning school photos, and creating organizational timelines. I am hoping to use all of this data to help my school fundraise next year, and celebrate the strengths of our community!
What I’m Praying For
This month, God has been encouraging me to pray for the educational systems in different countries.
- Safety from violence for the Christian schools in Pakistan, and for many to experience and know the love of Jesus for the first time
- For God to increase godly awe in the Nordic Countries
- For the Government to rise up to stop boarding school kidnappings in Nigeria
- Against Secular Humanism in the United Kingdom and towards a right view of the Lordship of Jesus
- Hope, wisdom, and integrity as a wave of the Holy Spirit soon floods Venezuela, binding poverty and setting captives free
How you can Pray for Me
- That I would see long-awaited answers to prayer (in all subjects)
- Increasing favor
- Open doors for ministry, travel, and next steps
- That I would imagine and dream bigger and bigger dreams