Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Student's Prayer

Each year, I try to provide a prayer for the year. Sometimes I use the verses to the hymn "A Student's Prayer," other years I've used Thomas of Aquinas' prayer. This year I found another one.

I typed this new student's prayer in readable font, formatted it onto an index card-sized bordered box, copied it on lavender paper, and used clear laminate to adhere the prayer to the corner of each student's desk.

This is our prayer for the year that we pray every morning:

Open my mind to your grace, O Lord, as I begin my study today.

You are the source of all wisdom and truth:

so guide me along the right path

that I may persevere in my studies and scholarship.

May I learn well what I need to know;

may I understand what I need to learn;

may I remember what I need to explain.

My week has been really good. Really busy, but really good.

My legs and feet are still tired, but they will adjust. I have always liked to look nice and wear nice clothes and shoes. My legs have to get used to heels all day. Every day. I don't want to back off of that one. Looking professional translates into acting professional. And, too, I think it gives students a model to follow.

Before school even started on day two, I had a "my child cannot do this" letter from a new parent. It was complicated enough that I thought it best to rescind some outside reading assignments. Temporarily. I quickly realized that the students (really, the parents) do not need to know everything in
the first week that is planned for the year. (I'm still learning, as Michelangelo would say.) This week, I plan to hand out one outside reading assignment.

All in all, I have great parent support from parents who want me to raise the bar of achievement for their children. But it doesn't take but one vocal in-your-face parent to shift the load of the wagon. Temporarily.

Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and comments! What an encouragement it is when I checked my mail, sometimes even during my planning period, to see notes of encouragement. It means so much!

In my eighth grade World Studies class, as I closed the discussion of the book's introduction, I shared the quote from John Donne's Meditation XVII, "No man is an island," quite appropriate for our discussion that day.

The next day, one of the young men in the class told me he went home and looked up John Donne and read some his poetry. He said he really liked his "Holy Sonnet," the "Death Be Not Proud" one. This young man is only thirteen. These are small exchanges in conversation that make the weariness and preparation all worthwhile.

I still haven't worked out all meshing together of school and home yet. I haven't vacuumed in two weeks and dinner this week has consisted of fresh tomato sandwiches with corn on the cob broken up by one night of Chinese take-out. I have to get together next week's lesson plans to turn in on Monday and vacuum, wash and fold clothes, and figure out a menu for next week. I think getting all of these things together is really harder than teaching all day. :)


Carrie K. said...

I will continue to pray for strength and encouragement as you adjust to your new schedule. Hold on to those moments that make it all worthwhile - and don't let the parents get you down!

Kathleen Hamilton said...

Bless you, Janie. I'll continue to pray for you throughout the year. You are a rare gem.

Michelle Matheny said...

Janie, I truly believe that all the parents should really appreciate you! You have so much experience homeschooling, your children are thriving, and you have more "on the job" experience than most "first year" teachers have! Listening to the 2007 ACCS conference tapes, one of the speakers (I forget which) said that Logos School has hired parents who have homeschooled and who have raised godly children, and how highly they value these parents. You are one of them! I'll continue to pray for you for grace throughout the year!