Two more days until Spring break! What I'll miss the most is interactions with students. Sometimes, the ones who leave an impression do so in unpredictable ways . This is from April 24, 2010.
At Westbury Christian School, each department in the upper school has specific test days. Mine, as Bible instructor, are Wednesdays and Fridays. The purpose of specified days is to limit the number of tests a student might face on any particular day. This year, I've given most of my tests on Fridays. It gives me the weekend to grade the one hundred twenty or so exams as well as allowing me to plan for the next week of classes while the kids take the tests. Our schedule is unique in that we have eight class periods while most high school not on block scheduling only have seven. Our extra period is due to the requirement that all WCS students take a Bible class each semester. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have chapel in the morning for twenty-five minutes. On Monday-Wednesday-Friday, we have SACT in the corresponding slot, a time set aside for class/club meetings, tutoring, or socializing. My three Gospels classes, primarily sophomores with a mixture of juniors and seniors sprinkled in, all meet after SACT. This year, I have had a study session on test days during SACT. That is the picture above, taken yesterday morning. Friday's tutoring group was truly international. Of the eleven students who participated, five are from Vietnam, one is Korean, one hails from Cameroon, one is Thai, and three are Americans. As you can see, our school has an international flavor!
Here is an interesting stat, at least to me. Seven or eight of those youngsters currently carry a 99-100% average grade in my class. We typically have six to seven grades per week so it's based on a large sample. This begs the question: do these kids come to the review because they have extremely high grades or do they have extremely high grades because they come to the review session? There is a factor in the discussion that, unless you are in my classes, you overlooked. On the table, to the left, is an empty donut box. Every time we have had a review session since the beginning of school, with one exception, there have been donuts provided. I don't bring them. The young man seated at my left, Isarath, always goes to Shipley Donuts, a Houston institution for seventy-two years, the morning of a test and shares glazed donuts with his fellow students at our review. As Friday's test was the seventeenth of the school year, you can see that he has incurred quite an expense. Back in August, I told the classes about these reviews and jokingly remarked that if someone would like to bring donuts, so much the better. I have roughly seventy students in those three Gospels classes but only one responded to the donut invitation; this young man from Thailand.
Every group needs someone who goes the extra mile and in ours, it's Isarath. He's not wealthy- he left school yesterday on his way to working in a Thai restaurant- but he is compelled to make life a little sweeter for others. I can't say how many of these teenagers come for the food but if even one gets a more in-depth instruction into the Word of God, isn't it worth it? Jesus had no qualms about mixing His sermons with a few groceries (see The Feeding of the 5000) so I think we are being perfectly Scriptural here. We're told that Andrew was the apostle who brought to Jesus the boy with five loaves and two fish in the buildup to the only miracle told in all four Gospels. If he had bumped into Isarath two thousand years ago, the story might have had a different flavor..... and maybe a few less baskets of leftovers.
Applicable quote of the day:
"It's never crowded along the extra mile.''
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