Being a NC Teaching Fellow, fulfilling my requirements includes having ten hours (it is always, and should be, more) of field experience every semester. Field experience can be observing/volunteering in a classroom, tutoring, or working with outside-of-school academic programs. I much prefer time in a classroom–it has shown me, in an unique manner, the realities of school, teachers’ responsibilities, administrators, teaching strategies, students’ struggles, and adults’ efforts to alleviate issues.
On Monday and Tuesday I visited a Kindergarten classroom at a local school.
In this particular classroom, there was a student that had entered Kindergarten just the week prior–he was an Honduras native and an ESL student. *William had moved to America with his mother several ago.
Fortunately I have had awesome Spanish teachers in elementary school through high school, and so I was able to communicate with William-–read: I know some vocab words and know how to loosely form simple sentences/phrases. Fortunately, between me working closely with him and the luxury of having an ESL classmate who is bilingual in Spanish and English, William was able to complete most of his work.
Like any six-year-old, he loves running around on a playground. So going to “el parque” was the most exciting part of the day for William. On Monday, as the students were walking in a single-file line (I was walking with him and holding his hand…I’m a sucker), as soon as he saw the playground, he began pointing and yelling to me that he was going to go “…en el parque! En el parque, mizz Kayla!”
I could have died. His sweet face lit up as he squeezed my hand tighter.
The next day, as we were walking to the playground again, as soon as the slides and swings were in sight, he started shouting about “el parque” again. But this time he let go of my hand and bolted ahead toward the rock wall–yes, rock wall. Since when do public school playgrounds get rock walls? I was gypped.
As soon as I thanked the Door Holder for holding the gate door for me, the teacher’s assistant rushed over to me to “stop William!” Apparently, before he could reach the rock wall, William’s bladder failed him and he relieved himself…not in his pants.
Fortunately, by the time he was in my sight he was fastening his belt. I explained to him as best I could that “el parque no es el baño”, and that if he ever has to use the bathroom, he must go “en la escuela.” I then asked the bilingual student to make sure William knew that he could never use the bathroom outside, but must always use the restroom in the classroom. When William understood, I was asked to take him back to the classroom to tell his teacher what had happened.
On our long walk back to the classroom, I asked William again if he understood why we had to leave the playground. He did, and he replied “lo siento, mizz Kayla.” My heart broke as I assured him it would be okay and that no one was angry with him.
His teacher handled the situation and showed William where the bathroom was…she will be working with him on closing the door when he uses “el bano.”
I couldn’t help but think about this in a spiritual context. I like analogies, I’m sorry.
How many times does this happen in the church? In Christian homes? Where a child or a new believer is so excited about their salvation and Jesus’ work…the “basic” aspects of Christianity, and we shoot them down by telling them (or thinking) they are young and naive. We see them as spiritually inferior.
They get so thrilled they pee in their pants and we embarrass them and tell them to stop, when they simply naturally responded to how awesome Jesus is.
I want my kids to pee in their pants when I tell them the Gospel story.
I hope I never stifle my children’s joy over what Jesus has done for them. I pray I am humbled by their love for the Lord. May God grow a child-like love for Him in my heart.