Last week, one of our vocab words was worthwhile. We were reading a story that featured all the vocab words, and when we came upon worthwhile, I said, “Raise your hand if you’re worthwhile” expecting every kid to immediately wave his or her hand in the air.
I was wrong.
Only about 5 kids raised their hands!
So then I was like, “Wait a second! You don’t think you’re worthwhile? What??” I stopped the lesson to talk about how special each of them is, and I read “You Are Special” out loud. This got me thinking about the huge blessing I had to grow up singing “I Am a Child of God” from like age zero. Then in Young Womens, I stood every week and declared “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him.” This is a precious truth I’ve known my entire life, and I guess I’ve kind of taken it for granted.
My kids don’t know who they are!
On the mission, it was my job to teach that God is our loving Heavenly Father and we are His children. One of my favorite street contact questions was, “Who is God to you?” and they would respond, “He’s everything!” or “He’s in my heart.” and then we’d talk. But now that my job is different, I forget that my kiddos are essentially in the same shoes as my street contacts.
Because of church and state, I can’t tell my students who they are. However, I can help them feel God’s love by teaching them that they are in fact special, and treating them in a special way. CS Lewis’s oft-quoted passage about everyone being potential gods and goddesses who we would be strongly tempted to worship applies to EVERYONE, including my students.