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  • Writer's pictureCindy Jones

To Teach or Not to Teach

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 Last spring that was the question before me. Since returning to Kodiak seven years ago I have had my own classroom in one form or another. I knew this fall I would spend most of September traveling to Scotland with my daughter Julianna for her first year at the University of Aberdeen. I knew I wanted to visit my parents more in Ohio. It seemed right NOT to teach. I would still offer open ended activities to the two preschool classes at the Mission, offer a daily chapel, work on curriculum and instruction as well as provide teacher support for challenging behaviors. I did all of those things. It was good. I am a self-proclaimed word girl. I love to choose words to guide my year and my classroom. When I started my master’s program in 2017 I chose the word transformation. I was excited for my journey to becoming a Reggio-inspired, play-based, child-led, social constructivism teacher. I am STILL excited to be on this journey. At the beginning of the 2021 I wrote : "I used the word epigenesis last year in my classroom with the idea that it meant transformation and the ability to change/adapt over the course of the year. As I look at that word again, the truer meaning of the word means development. I like that. I have always viewed myself as a lifelong learner and my goal as a teacher has always been to build a community of lifelong learners. As I think about the epigenesis of my community of learners I am learning more and more this comes through connection. Connection is my intentional word for this year." The last few months at the Mission have shown a need for a new way in the wilderness. When new needs pop up we must ask, “Do we perceive it?” The preschool at the Mission has answered that question with a resounding yes through our new offering: The Compass Classroom. It combines the best of both…indoor and outdoor learning in a child-led, play-based, nature focused environment. A compass aids in navigation and orientation. A few weeks ago, we had a pastor visit Kodiak. He spoke at Community Baptist Church and helped me with a chapel for all of our preschoolers. Before he left, he gave me a big cross and a bag of little crosses. He asked me to give a cross to each of our preschoolers, telling them that the cross is a compass for our lives, that it will guide us. He also wanted them to know that the cross is a magnifying glass….meaning Jesus will search our hearts and we do not have to be afraid when he searches because he loves us. (John 3:16). It will be an honor to share that with the many tiny humans coming to the Mission in January. God is doing a new thing. We have perceived it and are ready to thrive.

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