By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist
I feel a tug at my heart.
By this time, I would have all my bulletin boards up, all my students’ names on the desks, all my lessons planned and would have prayed for a successful year.
Why do I miss teaching school so much? I miss those little shiny faces with brand new school boxes and brand new lunch pails. I miss the love notes, the hugs and the puppy dog stories. Many of my ex-students have now become teachers themselves and I am so proud of them.
I still feel regrets on the first day of school. I feel a little envious when I see a teacher taking a tour somewhere with her students. When I see the yellow school bus I remember my students waving, “Bye teacher, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Deep down I wish I could start over again teaching my first day of school.
In reality, the students became my teacher.
I’m thankful for 31 years of teaching and I remember with fond affection all the love and laughter the children brought. They taught me to love, to forgive, to trust, to have faith, and to live in the “now” of life. They taught me not to regret the past and not to dread the future. They also taught me the rules of life:
• It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
• To be on the ball, you have to keep correcting your mistakes.
• The more you read, the smarter you’ll be.
• You can’t do your work if your stomach is growling.
• Every problem has several possibilities.
• If it’s raining outside, stop working and enjoy the rain.
• When you’re not happy, start singing and you’ll be happy.
• Say “Amen” after you say The Pledge of Allegiance. It makes you feel better.
• Don’t drink too much punch at parties.
• Going on a trip is fun, but it’s more fun when you get there.
• When confused, smile and wait. Help is on the way.
• To have fun on the weekends, first you have to work.
• To stay out of trouble, follow the rules.
• When someone whispers, everybody listens.
• If you do something wrong, someone will always find out.
• Look through someone else’s glasses. It changes how you see things.
• Take a bath before you have your picture made. It makes the picture better.
• If you miss the bus, don’t cry. It isn’t dark yet.
• You can’t listen and talk at the same time.
• Do your best and then go play.
• Holding hands with someone keeps you from getting lost.
• Saying “please” and “thank you” makes you feel good inside.
• When you smile, it rains sunshine.
• Money can buy candy, but it ruins your teeth, so which do you want?
• Everyone gets a turn.
• Don’t hurry up to slow down.
• If you had fun, you won.
• If you talk all the time, your hearing goes bad.
• Being mad at someone will make you sick.
• Make it right before night.
All of us could benefit from these “out of the mouths of babes” principles. They certainly can be applied to my life. It’s all about the wonderful world of children. “Of such is the Kingdom” (Matthew 19:14).