(a little background:) I teach preschool-8th grade music, as well as lead worship, so I have lots of varying experiences throughout each day!
A couple of weeks ago, a first grader walked into class with a squished, mushy, light blue glob of something between his fingers. He walked directly to me (while I’m finishing laying out instruments, getting the CD ready, welcoming other students, etc) and says, “Here Mr. Gehrke!” Another thing to keep in mind before you rush to any judgments…kids hand junk to me all of the time. If they find a paper clip on the floor, 4 feet from their actual spot, they have to let me know and hand it to me. Thank you for making that a priority over the amazing lesson I have planned for you today. No, I don’t say that, but it’s fun to say in my head while I actually smile and say, “Thank you, can I see you singing with us in your spot?” 🙂
Back to the little kid and the mushy chunk of whatever…
He hands it to me and I say, “Ohh! Thank you for picking up and I throw it in the trash.” Big. Mis.take.
He shrugs his shoulders, tries to shake it off, but I see the eyes turning red. Now I’ve done it!
I say, “Hang on, come here, can you tell me about that.” He says, “My mom and I made cotton candy and I brought you some.”
I picked it out of the trash (emptied the night before, so it actually was a clean, new bag, thankfully!) and I set it on a tissue and told him I’d look forward to trying it later.
Man, I’m glad I noticed his reaction and had a chance to talk with him. It just reminds me of how many times in life we quickly rush through a situation thinking we know what’s going on before getting all of the information. It doesn’t matter the age, we all do it to each other very often. I hope I do better at really listening to kids and adults to know them better and what they have to share with me!
4 thoughts on “pay attention!”
This post made me weepy. Seriously Gerk, you’re a great teacher. I wish I was in one of your classes.
Thanks Phil- that means a lot to me. I wish you were in one of my classes too, then we could hang out all the time! 🙂
your post reminded me of all the little kinders at TLO. in the middle of my lessons, they would anxiously have their hands raised to tell me precious things like, “i’m sleeping over at my grandma’s house tonight” or “my dog died the other day.” how uber annoying it got to be sometimes, but the more i look back on it now, that’s THEIR world. that’s what is important to them. and what they’re doing when they say off the topic things/give you random paperclips and scraps of paper is inviting you into their little world because they trust you to think that those things are important too. and the more that i think about it now, that’s what we do to God too. we are His little children and we come to Him with these trivial and super mundane questions and things… but He values and honors that, He listens to us, and thankfully loves us… because all He really wants us to do is to invite Him in.
Hey Karly, I was just telling Em what a wise woman of God you are. I love the way you find a way to weave your faith and view of God’s love into everyday life. It’s very encouraging and strengthening to me! Hope you’re doing great.