"When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." – Mark 10:14
Every child is special in the eyes of God. It is amazing to think that God spends so much time making each of us so unique. It's been a month since classes have started. The children were ecstatic to be returning to school. One great thing about CCHS is the ability to adapt to the new normal in teaching the kids. Another great thing about CCHS is that it practices inclusive education, where students with special needs are in the same classroom as mainstream students and they all receive equal learning opportunities.
Two students in partciular have greatly benefited from this inclusive education. This school year, they have joined the other four grade-two learners. We decided to move them up and join an appropriate group based on their age and a group that could greatly help them in achieving their goals and unlocking their God-given potential. Their first day in August 2022 was full of enthusiasm upon coming to school. They were delighted to see the school and were fascinated with the facilities since it was their first time to be back at school after two years of schooling at the shelter (CSC) due to the pandemic.
These two precious kids have shown their talents and skills in different areas. Student A loves to do math activities. He does well in answering some math problems, like joining two groups and counting them all independently. At times, he answers math problems with the help of his classmates and by using some math tools like counters, cubes, and number paths. On the other hand, student B loves to read books. He is able to read decodable books independently and loves to sing upbeat songs.
It is wonderful to see that despite their challenges, they were able to cope up gradually with the assistance of their concerned classmates. At times, it's a big challenge for them to stay focused on their tasks, but I am thankful to God for making those supportive shadow angels (their peers) as an instrument for their success. Their willingness to reach out to their classmates' needs is absolutely amazing. Their success is also possible because of your undying support for our school. Thank you so much for your contributions to this ministry.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (English Standard Version)
Praise the Lord for the first week of school. It is an exciting week for the CCHS family. Teachers and students were waiting for this day to come. We believe God ordained this day to mark a fresh beginning. Here we are opening our new school year while transitioning to our new normal. Upon entering the school we have to wear our face masks, step on our new foot bath, have our temperatures taken then sanitize our hands. Students enter and exit their classroom following the arrows.
We have a new clinic at CCHS! Over the summer we set up our clinic. We are thankful for the efforts done by the team who made this clinic possible. From facilities who built this room initially during lockdown for quarantined employees to our medical staff and the office staff that helped us placed medical equipment and supplies. As mandated by the Department of Education, students, teaching and other personnel are strictly prohibited from eating together while facing one another. Eating shall be done in a manner where all individuals face in one direction and do not talk while their masks are off. CCHS made changes on the setting up the snack room this school year to follow that instruction.
Here are some of the students' comments on being back at CCHS:
Maribel – CCHS is great! I like to borrow books in the library, eat with my classmates in the snack room, and to be with my teachers.
Mias – I am happy to be back at CCHS. I want to learn new things from all the subjects. I like to be with my teacher in the classroom because our classroom is Awesome!
Ryan – I am happy to learn new things and meet teacher Merce. I am excited to be in the library too.
John Mark – I am happy to be at CCHS. I enjoy learning new things. I am excited to be with teacher Alfie, play during Physical Education and play musical instrument.
Ford – I am happy at CCHS because I can write my name, draw a horse, answer in our workbook, eat snack, and drink water. Our classroom has toys and tools and I like it.
As a school, we are looking forward to meaningful and fruitful days ahead. We would like to encourage you to journey with us for school year 2022-2023.
I am an instructional assistant, in which my primary job is to assist the preschool teacher
in handling his class. Here at CCHS, I organize the learning materials, preparing supplies for the lesson plan and straightening up the classroom, helping the preschool teacher in managing the class and supporting him in planning and presenting lessons. To be one is such a great privilege. With those devoirs, I am also given a wonderful and special task – handling 7 adorable and endearing toddlers (ages 2-3). I've been teaching these little ones since November 2021 up until now.
I've wanted to be a teacher ever since I can remember. For 4 years, I was a teacher to more or less 25 pupils (ages 9-10) in a 4 th grade class at my previous workplace. So, this is my first time to teach toddlers. I love my job and learn more each day. I've read many books about handling toddlers and how to teach these young ones I am passionate about what I do and my day would not be complete if I would miss seeing them and not able to spend time with them even just for a couple of minutes. Their smiles are precious and I love the fact that having them is as sweet as a honeycomb.
Whenever I teach toddlers, I just feel the moment and enjoy every second with them. I love to teach when I am enjoying. I do my best just to make them feel comfortable while they are learning. We all know that these babies love to play and explore a lot of things, even though they cannot communicate well using words. As a teacher, I consider every single minute with them like having a family time which must be filled with genuine laughter and lots of exciting and fun-filled activities.
To be a teacher to these kids is not easy. It is not just simply a responsibility by profession. It is a dream of anyone who is seeking for a joy through shaping young minds and hearts. Yes, toddlers sometimes are not easy to handle with. To be more specific, whenever one of them gets into tantrum, it is not easy to handle him/her especially during class discussions. Good thing, in CSC, we have childcare workers to assist and help deal with these situations. For the child to not disturb the class, they can pull him/her out, of course, with proper and gentle assistance to make sure the kid is still under monitored and well-taken care of. When the child gets better, he/she can join the class again.
There is beauty in teaching. I may face different phases of difficulty about it, but God's strength is enough. His wisdom enables me to do my responsibilities and His love teaches me to see the real beauty in it. And if God has given me the greatest gift a person could ever have, "Salvation through Christ," I can say that He has a purpose for me with this job that I have right now. He had impressed my heart with a desire to love kids and to shape the lives of these adorable young ones. I praise the Lord for giving me this wonderful favor of being a teacher – serving for His glory, His kingdom and for Him alone.
I was anticipating a trip to Cebu this week to meet with Roberto, our Field Director, and other leaders, to see the ministry of CSC firsthand and to see the kids and their bright smiling faces. God had other plans. The day of our departure we received word that COVID had once again reared its ugly head. It is not clear yet how many positive cases are at the shelter, but it's best to not travel and to allow for "all hands on deck" to minister to the needs of all who need care. Prayers are appreciated for our CSC leaders, employees and children.
God's Timing Is Perfect
This got me thinking about "God's timing" and how His ways are often not mine. But it's hard to understand, right? Had we gotten word just 8 hours later we would have been in the air heading to Cebu, landing and not knowing the situation that would have been unfolding before our eyes. I am very thankful to have found out BEFORE we began our trip.
We will never know—this side of eternity—why some things happen and why other things don't. Truth is, my heart has been breaking over the last 48 hours for those families who have experienced such great loss recently. It seems natural to ask the "why" questions when tragedies impact children and families, especially. This is true whether in the U.S. or Cebu. Yet, I believe that God does have a plan for each of us, even in the midst of the hurt and pain we all experience. Trust in God, He knows what He's doing. And rejoice! He give peace that goes beyond our understanding.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
It Is Well With My Soul
In closing, let me share a song that's been at the core of my thoughts, the familiar hymn It Is Well With My Soul. This hymn was written by Horatio G. Spafford in 1873 upon enduring great personal tragedy and incredible family loss. Even in the midst of great sorrow, he and his wife were able to look to God and His timing to say that whether in times of peace or in times of great sorrow, He tells us to declare, it is well with my soul.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Grace and Peace,
Teaching younger children is a great challenge. I need more patience in dealing with different behavior and preferences of my students. By God's grace, I am happy facing it every day. One of the things that I really treasure this year is having a classroom routine.
It has become my secret recipe in maintaining a friendly and a fruitful day in class. When I adapted Responsive classroom it allows me to create a more functional routine and it gives me confidence in managing my class effectively. It also provides students more opportunities to choose to be a responsible learner. I learn to consider students' expectations not just giving my expectations to them.
To make classroom routine effective, I need to be consistent with the set expectations. There are challenging days and inspiring days too. And I thank the Lord for both. As a teacher I need to stick to my plans and know that each passing day brings new learning and each new day gives new hope and a new beginning.
"If you have a good habit, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience."
– James Clear