By Claire Simmons, Children’s Minister
I find that most people can remember a favorite teacher, and likely something they learned from them. I had several, but the one that stands out was my first-grade teacher. She had short curly red hair and decorated her classroom with a plethora of stuffed frogs. I do not remember her lessons on literature or mathematics, but I remember her talking to us after the events of September 11, 2001. She spoke calmly to us and tried to help 6-year-olds understand the events going on in the world outside her classroom, and that made her a great teacher.
If you thought being a first-grade teacher with a frog classroom was strange, then you can imagine the faces of most people when I tell them I taught 2-year-olds at Mother’s Day Out in Texas. Often people will respond to me in a way that says “You’re not a certified teacher. What can you actually teach them?”.
My favorite part of working with preschool children is just how much I get to teach them! From the moment babies are born, they are learning new things. What sunlight looks like, what their parents sound like, and what noises they like and don’t like. If you’ve ever been around a hungry baby, you see their expression change at the first sight of a bottle from a very young age.
God created the world and everything in it and I believe he created children uniquely to be curious about it, even at 2 years old! A toddler may not be learning how to spell or write their name, but they can see God through the world he created. How wonderful it would be if we kept this desire to learn throughout the rest of our lives.
At times, it’s easy to stop seeing the world through the curious eyes of a child and only see it through the jaded lenses of a busy adult. A few weeks ago, while out on the playground, a child commented on the beautiful pink and orange colors of the sunset. We admired it and thanked God for the pretty sky he created, but I can’t say that’s something I would have done driving home after a busy day. Later that evening, as we prayed for our snack, another child, unprompted, thanked God for the beautiful world He created.
The unfortunate truth is that instead of being amazed and grateful, on my own I might have been disappointed that the day was ending before I had time to complete my to-do list. It is humbling to be reminded by a small child that the world, however busy and frustrating is a beautiful gift from God.