In ten hours, I will begin my ninth bi-annual Amara Nelson Semester Test Review. The following, from May 19, 2013, is why! Final exams begin for the 2012-2013 school year in the morning at Westbury Christian School. Our semester tests are spread out over four days and are taken by subject matter, not by class period. Tomorrow, in the second testing block, all the students grades 7-12 will be tested on what they have learned from their Bible classes from January through May. I like having the Bible exams on Monday- it gives me four days to correct them and mine require about eight hours to grade. I'll be giving a review in the morning in my classroom bright and early. Let me rephrase that statement: it will be early but it won't be bright. The review begins at 6 AM sharply. And I owe it all to Amara.
The Bible exam for the Fall Semester fell on December 17. During our test preparation the Thursday and Friday of the previous week, I had told my students I would be in my classroom at 6 AM if anyone wanted to come in for a review session. That morning, I was running a little bit later than I had planned and arrived about 6:15 AM. Subconsciously, I probably was thinking none of my students would actually show up at that time anyway. But as I rounded the corner of the first floor hallway to go up the stairs to my classroom, there stood Amara, one of my terrific sophomore Gospels' students. I should say a little bit unnerved Amara who found out that a deserted school building with few lights turned on at 6 AM can be on the creepy side! We proceeded to Room 258 where we had an excellent study session. Probably thirty minutes passed before another student joined our review. Amara's efforts were rewarded as she earned an excellent score on the exam and on her report card. My efforts were rewarded with a guilty conscience.
There's a problem with teachers like me and students like Amara- when you say something, they have this endearing tendency to believe you. She took me at my word and was exactly where I said I'd be at 6 AM on December 17, 2012......... but she was by herself. I did not mess up intentionally but I might as well have. Jesus taught us to be careful what to say with teachings like letting our yes be yes and our no, no. He taught we ought to be honest without taking oaths; whatever we comes out of our mouths should be, in fact, an oath because we intend to do as we say. I made the same promise last week that I did back in December about my arrival time. No messing up this time around! So at 6 AM, I'll have a pot of coffee brewed in my room along with some snacks awaiting my enthusiastic pupils. I'll have my room straightened up and the air freshened with Febreze and we will break down the bread of life one last time, at least for this year. I learned my lesson, albeit an ironic one. Isn't it the student who's suppose to learn from the teacher? My mom's favorite Bible quote was always, from the lips of Jesus: many are called, few are chosen. In my case, many have been called- we'll find out in 8 1/2 hours how many show up!
Applicable quote of the day:
"Never take a solemn oath. People think you mean it."
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