Jesus had 12 disciples. This year, He gave me 12 disciples. You know, a disciple is a learner. Twelve is an amazing number, the perfect for teaching. His work in granting me my 12 wasn’t complete until February, but each day was a treasure.
They made me laugh. Who imagined it would take until March to note that “number order” referred to the number assigned each child for keeping track of books and grades? Who thought that “choose the best answer” implied you could choose the one you thought sounded the funnest, though you knew it had nothing to do with the question. Who knew that dormant seeds remain in the dormitory and how the English settlers expected to find gold nuggets was a mystery since chicken nuggets were a modern invention?
They’re so smart. We learned the difference between a battle and a war by having the Civil War. We learned about taping pieces together to change fractions and putting word bubbles around quotations. We learned that Pluto is only a planet in NM, that the apostle Peter had a really big mouth, and that you can figure out the meaning of a word from the sentence around it.
They are learning to love. This, perhaps, is the biggest blessing for the teacher. We learned I Cor. 13, but we also learned to practice God’s kind of love. From defending a classmate upset because no one believed the story he told, to sympathizing over a burnt cookie, to sitting with one who did not feel like playing, compassion was a key player with “my” children. We prayed for missionaries, moms... pigs and the burial of dead pets. They learned the principle of not yelling "me first," encouraged their teacher, and developed a skill of finding life lessons in every area.
My 12 were not really mine, but God’s. He created, He redeems. He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun... And I will miss them. :-)
(P.S. In case you were wondering about Bob... He was our favorite invisible friend. Can you find him in the pictures? More to come, I hope).