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Having Done in Room 1501 (Wk 11) Parent/Teacher Conference…

Just finished Week 11 in Room…



This week was one of those weeks that forced me to practice patience and be reminded that High School is a lot more than the classroom and academia.  This week was PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE week.  It also was a NO SCHOOL Monday with Columbus day, so we only had 2 full days of school this week.  Thursday and Friday were 1/2 days because of Parent Teacher Conferences.

This week was the first time I have ever been on the teacher side of Parent/Teacher conferences.  I didn’t know what to expect.  When I used to attend Parent Teacher conferences from the parent side of the meeting…I always felt like it was time for the teacher to think that I was a bad parent because my kids weren’t doing as good as they could be.  I was always nervous going in, as a parent, on parent/teacher conferences.  I was always a bit insecure about what kind of parent the teacher thought I might be.

I think those past experiences helped me to help the parents who walked into Room 1501…relax.  I love their students and I was excited to tell them how good they are doing and how proud I am of their kid(s).

I could tell that some of the parents coming in were nervous.  I could see it in their eyes and body language.  It was obvious to me how much the parents loved their children.  It was fun to watch the parent’s nerves calm down when I began to mention their student by name, express gratefulness that their student was in my class, share details of their talents and strengths, and tell them that I felt they had a great kid.  Some parents teared up a little.

My experience from the Teacher side of Parent/Teacher Conferences taught me that every parent thinks and wishes they could do a better job of parenting.  I learned that every parent gets nervous, when confronted with what others think about their child, and how it might reflect on them as a parent and person.  I learned that every parent has a bit of panic, mixed with hope, that every teacher is helping shape their child to be successful in the world.  It was obvious to me that most parents recognize that they cannot raise their child(ren) on their own.

Every day, every parent releases their child out into the “wild” and out of the control of their loving arms.  I can really see it in the moms of the world.  I’m convinced nearly every mom…even when deeply frustrated with their students of Room 1501…wonders if they will see their child again at the end of the day.  What if the car crashes?  What if there is a shooter at the school?  What if there is a tragic accident on the sports field?  What if?  What if?  Seems to be a lot of worry in our world.  I guess it begs to ask the question as to if worry is sinful.

I heard a preacher recently talk about how worry is sinful and evil.  I was frustrated at the lack of Biblical truth behind that teaching. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that worry is evil.  It may say that worry is useless, but it is not evil.  I do not think that worry is a sin…I think worry is useless and a waste of time.  I challenge any “disagree-ers”…to show me the Bible verses that say Worry is evil or sinful. Some might argue that worry is a lack of trust in God.  I”m not sure you can prove that by using the Bible.   Worry could be an intense love for the things you care deeply about.  Worry might be because you recognize that God asked you to steward some things of His and you want to do an excellent job.   The only way I will agree that worry could be a sin is if the worry consumes us, controls us and causes us to behave sinfully.  However, I do not think that worry in and of itself is a sin.  The Bible is loaded with a lot of “little” things that it calls sin…worry is not one of them.

(At the end of this blog…if you’d like to do a Bible Study on Worry, I will include some Bible verses for you to do so.)

I would venture to say that Jesus worried.  I think it is a fair guess to say that Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, had such anxiety, stress, and pressure, that blood came to the surface of skin.  This condition is called Hematidrosis. (read about it in wikipedia here). Jesus begged the Father, three times, to let Him out of the crucifixion.  I think Jesus was worried at that moment…without sinning.  I don’t want to get off subject too much, but the reality is…worry is useless…but I do not think it is evil or sin…in and of itself.   In fact…agreeing with that might cause you to worry less. 🙂

When I met the parents of the some of the students of Room 1501…and noticed a little worry on their faces…I know for a fact that I was privileged to be able to help them relax and worry a little less about their students.  Their worry/concern helped me to realize something about being a teacher…

I think the greatest thing I learned by being on the Teacher side of Parent/Teacher Conferences was…as the Bible Teacher in Room 1501, I get to spend more time with these parent’s kids than they as the parents get to.  I have lunch with them everyday, I have them in class in a Question and Answer format…everyday.  I see them walking through the corridors and hanging out with their friends…everyday.   I see them laugh, fight, love, work, play and relax, every day…Monday through Friday…everyday…did I say every day?

So…as a first year teacher experiencing my first Parent/Teacher Conference…I will never take teachers for granted again.  (I recognize I have said that phrase a lot since becoming a teacher)…

Teachers do not just educate our personal children, they are one of the most critical contributors of turning our boys and girls into Men and Women.  Can you think of another person or organization that gets to spend that much time with our kids?  The Church on the corner doesn’t get that much time.  Our kid’s friends down the street don’t get that much time.  Television doesn’t get that much time. Teacher’s do.  Where your kids goes to school might be one of the most developmentally important decisions we as parents make in our children’s lives.  Hmmmm.

I learned a lot this week from my experience in Room 1501.

End of Blog________________________________

Beginning of Worry Bible Study…if interested…

  • Matthew 6:25-34

    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Luke 12:24-34

    Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Matthew 11:28-30

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
  • John 14:27

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Colossians 3:15

    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:16

    Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
  • Psalm 55:22

    Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
  • Proverbs 12:25

    An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
  • Philippians 4:6-7

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.
  • 1 Peter 5:6-8

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
  • Psalm 23:4

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Hebrews 13:5-6

    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
  • Psalm 56:3

    When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • Romans 8:38

    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,


Having Done in Room 1501 wk-7 (A normal week)

Room 1501 pic

I’ve got nothing outstanding to tell you about this past week.  It was a good week.  It was long week.  The previous two weeks were only Tuesday through Friday due to Labor Day weekend and last Monday’s flooding. In my Utopia…I’d like to have every Monday off!  🙂  I’ll bet you would too.

So…this week’s blog is just going to be an oddball blog of some of the first things that POP into my mind about this past week.  I’ll try for a ‘POP’ 10 list.

1.  I would rather take a 50 point test than grade 100+ of them! (I might put the actual test at the bottom of this page if you’d like to attempt taking what your students in Room 1501 did).   🙂


  2.  york peppermint pattiesI am really loving how the Coffee Shop at JCS has York                                                                          Peppermint Patties for sale at 2 for a quarter!



3.  I wish the JCS Coffee Shop carried Snickers…but due to peanut allergy issues in our world, it is best they do not carry Snickers…”packed with peanuts.” Snickers_wrapped


4.  In order to get good grades in Room 1501…all you have to do it take good notes, keep an organized Notebook of all the handouts I give you, and use those notebooks during the test.  If you fail my tests…you stink at keeping an organized notebook!  I believe in you enough to keep an organized notebook!  

5.  You can teach people the Bible, but you can’t make them learn it! 

6.  The longer I’m around the Room 1501 students, the more I’m proud of them, love them, and deeply desire for them to be successful now and for the rest of their lives.  

7.  You cannot force people into spiritual discipleship.  You must earn people’s trust, lead by example, and wait for them to “get it” or ask for it.

8.  As a teacher… If you bring a large bag of Life Savers, the students will be full of gratitude…until you runlife savers out.  When you run out of Life Savers, the thank you’s end and they threaten mutiny and demand you bring more! 🙂  

9.  Things will not always go the way you want them to.  You can try to control these situations…but I’m pretty sure all control belongs to God.  

10.  I believe I am a warrior in the service of Joy and I can never stop taking a stand, speaking up, and doing my very best work.  


Do you want to take the test the students took in Room 1501 this past Friday?  Here you go…Let me know how you do!!

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Good night.



Having Done in Rm 1501 (first full week complete)

This week…was the first week of a full M-F classroom schedule in Room…Room 1501 pic

I’m amazed at how fast it went by!  I can tell I’m getting in “teacher-shape.”  My back didn’t hurt as much this week.  My feet too!  My vocal chords must be strengthening, because they are fine.  My mental and emotional assets are learning to endure and go the distance!  Training and conditioning of any kind, pays off and strengthens…but it hurts at first!

Something I’m thinking out loud about…


I am delighted to be a teacher.  Last Sunday night…I was excited for Monday to come! Now…maybe I’m just in a “honeymoon” phase of teaching and this joy/excitement is going to fade.  I’ll let you know in a couple of months!  🙂 I’m betting the joy doesn’t fade!

I am thinking that burnout is not from doing too much of something you love…it might be doing too much of something you actually think you love.

This week caused me to reflect about some of my teachers (when I was a student).

Most of my teachers, when I was young and in school, were good people who seemed to be passionate about teaching and also loved students.  Some of my teachers seemed to have a disdain for us.  This type always confused me.  Why would someone be a teacher if they don’t like students?

It makes no sense to me for a teacher to not like his/her students.  That would be like a minister not liking people.  It would be like a football coach not liking his players.  It would be like a race car driver who hates speed, or a dog groomer who hates dogs.  🙂

It is very clear to me that I love the students I get to teach everyday in Room 1501.  I think they sense how much I love them.  I am always excited when the door opens and the next group of students come pouring in.

As I said in the last post…When Rm 1501 students come walking through the door…they don’t have to say a word, I can tell what kind of a night, and day, they are having.  Some students eyes never lift from the ground as they sit down and sigh…defeated.  Some come in full of energy and orneriness…a spark in their eye, laughter in their heart!   Some come in faithfully disciplined, ready for whatever Rm 1501 throws at them.  A few come in, not really caring about school, but willing to give me a chance.  And as anywhere, there are always a few couples who walk in together…in love. These couples always make me smile.  Young love is fun. On occasion when these young couples come in, I will begin singing… “Love is in the air…everywhere I look around.”  Their responses to me singing are quite mixed! LOL 🙂

As a teacher I have found great purpose and joy in empathizing and eagerly embracing the things the Rm 1501 students embrace at Joy Christian High School.  I love the challenge of meeting them on their turf…I try to join them…put myself in their shoes, in their mentality, and then creatively and passionately strive to take them and elevate them to a higher and more purposeful level.  I try to get them to make sense of anything they are dealing with and face it with purpose and strength.

I especially love to approach the students… the one’s whose eyes never leave the ground when they enter…and have them leave Rm 1501 with a spark in their eye, and a smile on their face!  To accomplish this, I think you have to truly care…and you have to be very smart in approaching them.

I’m learning that the students who push me away are the ones who really want me closer.  They’re just afraid. These kind are so tired of being hurt. When I think of these types…I think I can feel how our Father in Heaven feels about us.  It is an incredible sense of love and compassion, followed up with a desire for those whose hearts have been broken…who feel nothing but cold and anger and fear… to get to a point where they know safe and holy love and acceptance and joy.  A sense of belonging.  A sense of being wanted.  

You don’t have to be a teacher to do this! You can do it everyday in whatever your profession is.  Just start looking for the people I’m talking about.  They are all around you.  Tomorrow…open your eyes and begin the process of working with God to return hope to those who gave up trying to be loved a long time ago.  Joining God in this kind of thing will bring new vigor to your daily profession.  New purpose.

I’m learning, as a new teacher, that I can never take teaching the students in Rm 1501, as an obligation.  If you and I choose to take our profession as an obligation…as a kind of necessary sort of evil…then you and I will soon be overwhelmed.  Life…even the sucky parts…are a privilege.

I am learning that Teaching is a privilege.

Whether or not you are a professional teacher…you are still a teacher.  Recognize the privilege and you will live life, tired, but full.

10 things I learned this week in Rm 1501…

1.  If someone is breaking a rule of any kind…my silence, is actually permission.

2.  I don’t have to be demanding and “stick my chest out” with a student that is breaking a rule to get them to stop breaking the rule.

3.  GOOD teachers can make students follow the rules.

4.  GREAT teachers will get the students to understand why the rule exists and get them to want to follow it.

5.  I can be a GOOD teacher if I only teach.  I can be a GREAT teacher when I learn and teach simultaneously.

6.  Taking a test is more fun than Grading 100 + tests!  🙂

7.  Getting students, in the final hour of the day, to learn at the same level as the students in the hours before them…is a true challenge!

8.  If you try to talk over a room full of noisy students…it will only amount to more noise. 🙂

9.  Students…just like you and me…love it when you remember their name.

10.  I really love being a teacher at Joy Christian School.

JCS Crest 2014





Having Done in Rm 1501! (Week2…I am full!)

Week two as a first year teacher is complete!  Except I have some papers to finish grading and a few emails to get out. photoI have some students and a few parents to notify about the impact they are having on their sons and daughters…and it is showing in the classroom.

By impact, I mean positive and negative.   Parents are so powerful.  Mothers and Fathers are so powerful.  The impact of, “I am so proud of who you are.”  The impact of, “You are a whore.”   I can see what phrase the students heard, just hours ago at home, by simply looking into their eyes as they enter Rm 1501.  My students know they aren’t always great kids, but that doesn’t excuse certain phrases that come out of mom’s and dad’s mouth.

Two school weeks in and I have had many moments where I just want to drop the curriculum plan for the day and just walk around and hug these sophomores, juniors, and seniors to let them know how loved they are.  How important they are.

I spent all morning reading through and grading papers that I asked my students in Rm 1501 to write.  I asked them to write anything they learned this week and how it applied to their life.  This pic is just one fun example of one paragraph I found on the back of a student’s paper. photo

I wish you could read them all…you would never be the same.

I laughed as I read some really funny comments.  I was inspired as I read about hopes and dreams and biblical understanding.  I cried when I read some things.  I cried hard.   The home is supposed to be the safest place on earth for a child.  I wish I could promise all of my students, in Rm 1501, that all their homes are a safe haven to be themselves and to be free. That is a promise I can’t keep and they know it. So, the only thing I can do, is make Rm 1501 the safest place on earth.  A foretaste of Heaven.

My students know I mean that.  Some are still a little nervous, but they are learning to trust that this is going to be a great year in Rm 1501…no matter what life brings their way…they know how real it is going to be and that they can safely contribute to that real-ness.


I have so taken my teachers and my kid’s teachers for granted.  I can’t believe how hard the work is. I know every job has a hard factor to it.  But teaching…wow…I had no idea.  I have never been so tired.

As a new teacher, I am firmly aware of what teachers get paid.  I also know that teachers don’t do what they do for a money reward.

I am so grateful for what happens on the campus at Joy Christian School, but even more so in Rm 1501.  I am full.  I am content.  I am accepted.  We laugh at each other in such a positive and safe way. We wrestle with questions that I have never dealt with in any other form of 23 years of ministry work.  My feet, back, vocal chords, mental, and emotional assets have never been so tired.

But I am full.

I wish you could be a teacher for just two weeks.

I am so excited for Monday.






Having Done In Room 1501, (week 1)


Room 1501 pic The first week of Joy Christian School is  behind me,  and as a 1st year school teacher, it  has been a  great learning experience for me.  What a wild  ride to have back to back classes 6  times in a  row…M-F in a row, with sophomores, juniors and  seniors.  This first week, we simply covered some overview things and talked overview of the Bible.  Who is God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and other Essential discussions of expectations and requirements.

The most dramatic moment this week for me was giving each of my, more than 100 students, a 3×5 card to write the answer to this question… “What is the Bible to you?”   I let them know they could answer that anonymously.  I wanted them to be honest…and some were brutally honest.  I rec’d answers that were full of depth What is the Bible picand personal understanding towards to the Bible.  Several answers came in…and I qoute… “It’s just another stupid book.”  The picture to the right is of the pile of cards I have the privilege to read through.  I am delighted at the answers I received.  Joy Christian School is a Mission School.

What is the meaning of a mission school?  It is a school that anybody is welcome to attend.  In Christian School World…there are two kinds of schools.  Both are great….just different.  There is a Covenant School…where you must sign a covenant saying you are a follower of Jesus Christ.   And there are Missional Christian Schools, where you can pay to attend no matter what you believe about Jesus.  I love the mission of Joy…and…below are some things I learned in ROOM 1501 this week…

The 1st thing I learned…

Teachers/Faculty do not get to spend much time together.  We might pass each other during lunch or upon arrival/exit, but very little time is possible to spend together.  Our purpose is to spend time speaking/teaching/interacting/learning with the students of the school.  Not having time to spend together, as teachers, has demonstrated another thing to me; If there are any administrative/faculty negativities going on at a school, (BTW…there is none at Joy so far!) then it means that someone or several of the teachers/faculty are going out of their way to find or to start/continue negativity. There just isn’t enough time to spend together and any time spent together is on purpose.  This is probably true with anything in life…”You will find what you are looking for.”  (neg. or pos.)  And…”you will become what you focus on.” (neg. or pos.)   I hope you choose positive.  See Philippians 4:4-8 below.

“4 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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

A 2nd thing I’ve learned…

A majority of students really do want to learn.  A majority show up in your classroom and they want to be noticed and respected by the teacher.  It’s really not a student thing…it’s a human nature thing.  A student doesn’t mind having to work hard, interact in discussion, do homework, and work for a grade…IF…they feel RESPECTED & APPRECIATED.  I recognize that I am still new at this teaching thing…but…I am pretty convinced if a teacher has a classroom full of chaotic kids that won’t listen, respond, or they mentally check out…I am guessing it’s more of a teacher problem than a student problem.  (I’ll get back to you on this one…I admit I am still new at teaching in a school…I could be wrong.  Time will tell…and as I learn, I will tell.)

A 3rd thing I learned…

Every profession has its own physical/emotional/intellectual CONDITIONING necessary to function in that position well. Imagine the physical conditioning needed to be working in the garbage truck business.  Landscaping. Working the drive thru at a fast food restaurant.  Working at a cardboard box manufacturing plant.  Farming.  CEO of a large company.  Driving a UPS truck. Office desk job.  etc. etc.  Every job is hard work…but that hard work comes in many different forms.

I have learned that being a teacher is no different.  I have learned that I am not in TEACHER SHAPE…YET!  I will get there.  Wow…my back hurts.  My vocal cords are tired.  My feet ache and my emotional and intellectual assets are fatigued…and so far, I am really enjoying the challenge.

I confess that I have taken the teachers of my own children and my own personal teachers, in the school system, for granted.  I have been a preacher/pastor for the past 20 years and am now getting to compare the work load, emotional-toll road, and the physical work load of both a teacher compared to a preacher.  Due to the fact that I am still too new as a teacher to speak with full confidence about this work load comparison subject…I will let time tell all things…and in time I will tell all things I am learning.

4th thing I’ve learned…

It doesn’t matter what kind of teacher you are…The very last class of students any teacher has on a FRIDAY….is going to have to figure out some very creative ways to keep the students minds and hearts in attention to the subject at hand.  It is very obvious, during the final school hour, that the students are checked out mentally as they think about the weekend break that is about to start.

I am pretty sure, at this final hour on Fridays, the students have superpower hearing.  I think the ticking of the clock on the wall is so loud to them as it counts down to their William Wallace moment of FREEEEDOM for the weekend, they have a hard time focusing.

So, as a teacher I could be stubborn enough and self-serving enough to demand their attention and think they will listen…but in all honesty…if I were to try to speak over the “freedom clock” noise ringing in their ears….I will only sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to my students.  It’s not their job to overpower the ticking clock.  It’s my job as a teacher to work smarter to help them not even hear the clock.  I don’t know how to do this yet…but I’ll get there!

Joy Coat of Arms

That’s what’s “Having Done in Room 1501.”

Hope you enjoyed the read.  I feel loved by you if you read this.

Thank you.