This is my classroom! You can kind of see the kids working on the floor! Now you can see what I have been slaving over putting together for the last 2 weeks!!
In my class of 23, there is one student that I was very nervous about having. He has a reputation of being very disrespectful. In my Bible class on Friday, I taught about having a fresh start. I talked to them about how we all have been marked by different teachers or classmates as being talkative, or "bad" or not very smart, or mean, etc. Jesus believes that we can change, and that is why he died for us on the cross. He wants to give us a 2nd chance, because he believes we can be different. We talked about how Adam and Eve have a reputation for being the very first sinners. How embarrassing that every in the world knows that they were the ones that caused sin to enter into the world! But Jesus believed they could change and set up a way to clean themselves from sin, and so they could be in His presence again.
I had a blank sheet of paper, and started writing the things that they might be labeled as. I wrote it to make it look really horrible, and at the end of writing 5 or 6 things, the paper looked very ugly. When we ask for forgiveness and want a fresh start, Jesus gives it to us. I crumpled up the dirty, stained paper, and got out a fresh one. We need to believe in each other, that we all can be different. If Jesus gives us a fresh start, we need to give each other a fresh start as well. I asked the class with their eyes closed and heads down if they have things in their life they want to leave in the past. Everyone's hand went up. Then I had them look up and I asked them, that if they wanted to publicly confess that this year was a new start for them, to stand up.
The one who I was most nervous about being in my class was the 1st one to jump to his feet. "I want to change! I'm going to be different this year, and I don't want anyone to look at me and remember the bad things I've done, " he declared to the class. I was blown away. One by one the rest of the class stood to their feet and said they wanted to change, and for the classmates to believe in them.
I believe that every single one of my students will be different at the end of the year than the beginning. I know that this is a new leaf for them, but it's also a new level for me of believing in the power that Jesus has to change kids, and using my faith to see things that aren't as though they were.