Saturday night was TAD: Teacher’s Appreciation Day. We were tricked by the pastor’s wife (yes, the pastor’s wife was in on the conspiracy) into thinking that we had a youth worker’s meeting. Instead, we found ourselves in a candlelit room with beautiful decorated tables and place settings. We had individual name cards, menus and programs. The meal included an exquisite prime rib dinner, complete with appetizers and a variety of desserts, including dark chocolate of course. Attention to detail was evidenced by the availability of horseradish and toothpicks after dinner. The service was impeccable. I sound like a restaurant critic, but they deserve the credit. I’ve never seen my kids so well mannered (at least to us) that I wondered why I don’t see that kind of behavior more on Sundays.
Entertainment was intricately woven into the night. First off were 2 dance numbers. Back in the day when we honored people, we performed skits poking fun at them. Maybe because we’ve done so many skits in fellowship that they’re probably sick of them. Good thing for us. The first group danced to Britney Spears. I was shocked that any of the guys would even consider performing to that song. The second dance included pretty much everyone in the class. Go ahead, read that again, EVERYONE, even the guys. Guys who’d rather write down their answers on paper rather than answering me out loud. The girls, who would stop dancing if I was in their presence, were up there. I know that not everyone is comfortable performing in front of an audience, much less dance around on a stage, yet they all set that aside that night. I thank them for their courage.
Next came Gordon’s commentary, to stall for time or was it planned? I can’t tell. He can go on for hours commenting non-stop on anything he sees. Trust me, he’s done that in my car during the entire car ride back to his house. Truly an amazing talent.
The slide show was awesome. It included a lot of good and funny pictures that brought back faded memories and good times. I loved all the personal touches that were added, including a Star Wars THX intro.
They thanked each of us with a #1 teacher stuffed animal (yeah, all of us were #1), CD of the slide show, and a scrapbook where they had each written a note. They also mentioned some reasons why they appreciated us. For me, Nathan said he appreciated me for sticking with them for almost their entire 4 years of high school. He didn’t mention anything that he learned from me though. Maybe I should have asked, like Stan.
Then they went on and thanked everyone who helped out with the event. I was happy that they made it a point to include everyone so that no one would feel left out. With so many people involved, I was surprised at how well they kept this a secret, from me, at least. It sounded like a lot of time and effort was put in to make that evening possible. What I also hope for them is that they learned something from working with each other. People are different and do things differently. People have different strengths and weaknesses, but they all need to be patient and work together in order to make something work. There seemed to have been some drama in the planning, but through all of it, I hope they have learned from one another.
All in all, the evening was great. I actually felt appreciated (which is rare when you do things for our church). I’m so proud of them for being able to work together to plan something so special and formal. Now I know what they’re capable of so I might need to up my standards a bit.
Fonshe wrote a great post with many of the same thoughts and questions I have for myself.
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1 Am I teaching the right things? Have they understood what it is I wanted to teach? Do I leave a good impression of God’s love and plan? Why do they fail to listen to me at times? Do I spoil them too much? Are they learning what I planned to teach them? Do I show any favoritism? Do I love them enough? Do I love them too much for there is never a day or hour that goes by that I do not have one of them on my mind. I hurt when you hurt, sad when you’re sad, happy when you’re happy, disappointed and frustrated when you’re disappointed and frustrated.
I’m not a teacher by profession (although I have been), but being a Sunday school teacher is not only a 1 day a week job for me. I want them to learn from me, not just learn what I tell them on Sundays. Christina shared that there was nothing really that they could give back to us in return for our teaching. The only gift they could give us is by living out their lives for God. That truly would be the best gift they could ever give me. The 2ND greatest gift was what they gave us on Saturday. My only prayer for my kids is for them to know that God is real and that he loves them so very much…and that so do I. (And by writing this long old post, they better know how much, since anyone who reads this site knows I don’t usually write this much because I truly detest writing.)