A special installment from our Preschool Director, Mindy Tipton:
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. That email from their child’s teacher. A polite request.
"CAN WE SCHEDULE A MEETING?"
It’s not even the week of parent-teacher conferences, and the teacher wants to talk about your child’s behavior at school! Even before you know what behavior the teacher wants to discuss, your mind races to justify your child:
Did the long weekend camping make him grumpy at school? What did she eat for breakfast? Could that be the trigger? Did he get enough sleep last night? What about the influence of peers? Maybe this really isn’t her fault.
Your mind races. But when you meet, it turns out that your child’s teacher wants to discuss the same behavior that you’ve noticed, experienced, responded to, trained against, and walked through with your child from the beginning -- basic human sin. But just like Adam and Eve justified their behavior in the garden, our flesh wants to defend our child’s behavior. We rise up to explain the circumstances.
But walk into any early childhood classroom (including ACA), and you hear things like this:
“That’s mine. You can’t have it!" "You can’t play. You aren’t my friend anymore.” “I want it.” (Snatch and run.) Teacher: “It’s time to clean up the toys.” (And each child develops a sudden remarkable talent for creating a diplomatic excuse to avoid labor.)
Children everywhere, as regular sinners in a sinful world, demand their own way, just like everyone else. Every day, they sin against one another when they don’t get their way. They're just like us, fallen under Adam, redeemed under Christ, and learning how to live according to the gospel. And that takes time.
So at ACA, your child’s teachers don’t just want to "talk about" your child’s behavior in the classroom with you.
They want to offer support and encouragement to you. They want to pray with you and for you. They love to pray with your child and for your child. They desire to set an example for your children to love one another. They seek to model forgiveness. They humbly challenge your child to be kind and to anticipate when obedience will be hard.
Repentance and forgiveness. It's challenging work for children and adults.
We pray for our students to have gospel reflexes when they sin, and this includes encouragement to pursue holiness. My prayer for my class is that the children will walk in truth, love Jesus, flee sin, and live for the glory of God and the good of all people.
Today, that means we share the crayons.
Grace and peace, Mindy Tipton Preschool Director