think of the children!

Hello again. Some things i'd like to say first:

  1. I was going to write a post about Superman, and then decided not to. You probably didn't need or want to know that, but I've told you now so there's no going back. I was going to write about Superman because 'Man of Steel' came out last week (topical!); I saw it, and it was...interesting. Go see it for yourself if you haven't already and then we can all chat about it and debate it like one big nerdy family! No one else interested? SUIT YOURSELF.
  2. Apologies for sub-par writing. A friend told me last week that my grammar made her want to cry. That made me cry a bit, but then I got over it. I'm sorry I'm no Shakespeare. But speaking of 'sub-par', as my Golf Instructor once said to me: "You're not the best, but you're not the worst." He was such an encouraging man. Here's a funny piece on Dan Brown and bad writing.

Right. On with the show. Three things have dominated the last week. 'Assassins Creed II' on my Xbox, The Soul Survivor 'Equal' conference on Women in Leadership, and me working at a Primary School.

The first of those is likely of zero interest to you, especially since the game came out years ago, but its been keeping me entertained anyway. All I'll say is that I've purchased a Scimitar and some new Armour and these have really pushed up my attack, speed and defense ratings. And I got a cloak which makes me invisible to the enemy guards when I'm in Florence. Excellent. Aren't you glad I told you that?

Secondly, last Saturday, Soul Survivor Church held a one day conference called 'Equal', a gathering focused on supporting women in positions of leadership in the church. Fear not, this blog doesn't exist for the purpose of me banging a drum on whether women should or shouldn't be allowed to lead. That doesn't sound like much fun. What I will say though, is that I really enjoyed the conference, and it was lead in a way that was interesting, insightful and also incredibly graceful to those who hold a different theological position on the issue. That's so important. If we can't learn to love and respect each other within these debates then everything falls apart. I'm pretty sure we're bound together by Love and the Holy Spirit, not our opinions on secondary issues. So it was great to see that level of respect there. That's all I'll say on that for now...
Lastly, and most interestingly, I've started work experience at a Primary School. It's been brilliant. Kids are brilliant. Being there, I'm reminded of my days as a small person, and I've been reflecting on the beauty of that stage of life. Here's some fun moments from so far.

Reception children: 
"Would you like to come to my house for Dinner?"
"Would you like to come to my party?"
"Would you like to come to MY party!?"

We 'adults' still do parties and dinners but due to the lack of party bags and Pass the Parcel they are significantly less fun. Instead we just talk about ourselves and careers and other such tragically boring things. 

Reception maths lesson: 
me: "So, whats nine add three?"
child: "Dogs can't talk!"
me: "ummm..."

To be fair, he's absolutely right. Dogs CAN'T talk. It's at this stage of life where one learns such hard lessons. The child doesn't answer my numeracy question but instead demonstrates maturity by getting down to the really important issues.

Other highlights include kids telling me how fast they can run, golden time, skipping races, and one class ending the day by not only singing and dancing to Lord of the Dance but also to the unequivocal classic 'aint no mountain high enough.' Why not? 

It's just so exciting to be in an environment so full of life, energy, enthusiasm and curiosity; where people really are learning things for the first time and are slowly seeing how the world fits together. I know I was them once; free of the more world weary cynicism that inevitably accompanies adulthood. The adult desire for youth is rather cliched I know, but there's something more profound to the love of childhood than a desire for innocence or fresh looks.  I can't escape the sense that we should really want to be more like them. One man even once said that the Kingdom of God belonged to children. Rather than us teach them, the suggestion was they they had something to teach us. But that's a whole other blog post there. For now just be content with this video or a 2 year old shooting basketball hoops better than I could ever dream to. Phenomenal.

In my reminiscing of childhood I'm reminded of Peter Pan, the boy who wanted always to be a little boy and never grow up. Most of us don't have the Neverland option though; we have to grow up. But we can still learn from children; trying to match their love of life and exploring and questioning and just being themselves. They do that well. 

Basically i'm fighting for the kids corner here. Kids are great. They're hilarious and they're small and they're really trying hard. They've got lots to learn, but so do us big people. But, what do the children need more than anything else? What would the children be lost without? The teachers of course. I've got so much admiration now for the people that give their time to teach these children, to be patient with their madness; people who help them to grow. 

And I'm not starting an argument here, but Primary School teachers are a pretty great argument for Women in Leadership. There's only one male class teacher in the whole school where I'm working at the moment, the women are seriously running the show. We'd be lost without them. I hope that doesn't sound patronising. Genuinely, women (and men) of the primary teaching world, I salute you. 

And what do you know, its home-time already. See you next week!

Happy Saturday.


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