Sunday, September 8, 2013

Orphan Stories and Monday Made It: Classroom Jobs Pockets

School starts tomorrow.  I am both nervous and excited.  

I think I am ready for the big day, but have to do some more organizing tonight to be sure.  I also hope to get a good night sleep, but we will see if that actually happens.

Before I actually do what I need to do, I am going to do what I want to do, which is link up with Tara for Monday Made It!

As some of you may know, my last post was my Classroom Reveal.  If you missed it, click the previous link to go check it out.

Anyways, in that post, I shared a picture of my new jobs display (from Sweet Times in First).  I know I have shared about this jobs kit a lot, but I just love it that much.  

Here's what it looks like...

Here's how I made it...

Of course, I started out by printing out and laminating all of the cards and the student number stars.  I also bought and then laminated these cute library pockets available on Amazon from Top Notch Teacher Products.

Though I had read about laminating library pockets, I was honestly a bit nervous about how it would work out.  I was nervous to cut them open.  

Obviously, I tried scissors first, but soon discovered that they create a picky edge, which does not look cute.

Then, I had a stroke of brilliance and decided to try using a different tool.  

What was that tool you ask?


After the scissors didn't work out too well, I spotted my flat staple remover on the desk.

Staples® Flat Staple Remover
I picked it up and decided to give it a shot.  I ran the metal part along a small section of lamination near the edge of the pocket.

Then, I turned it back over, inserted the metal part in the small opening and ran it along the whole edge.

The result was an smoothly open pocket with perfectly clean edges!  It was AWESOME.  I did a happy dance.  Hehe.

Once the pockets were open, the creative process continued as I painted popsicle sticks black, one for each student and a few extras.  I used basic acrylic paint and a cheap paint brush from Michael's.

Then, I hot glued the stars on to the sticks.  They turned out super cute in my opinion.

Next, I picked out which jobs I wanted to use and lined them up with matching pockets.

I glued each job card to the front of a pocket.

Then, I sticky-tacked all the pockets to the side of a file cabinet before loading them up with the students' sticks.

 So, that's the end result.  Overall, I am super happy with how cute and functional the whole display is.  I can't wait to teach the kiddos their jobs and to rotate through them.  If you'd like to learn more about how I manage jobs, check out Tricks of the Trade: Classroom Jobs.

Now, for another edition of...
Left My Heart in Hyderabad

Day Eight: Part 1
Sarampet: Faith House

          We are on a farm in India under mosquito nets listening to Little Mermaid as we get dressed in the dark because the power is out.  The moment just got even better because Vijay and another boy out on the front porch just started singing along.  They must have heard us through the window.
          Since breakfast was slow as usual, we had devotions first.  I was feeling really tired and hung out under my bed net until I heard there was French Toast.  I ate 3 steamy pieces using my fingers, of course.
          Not long after breakfast, the kids bombarded us.  The thumb wars, hand clapping games, and Telegu lessons began.  As I played with the kids, I tried to be careful around the 4-5 girls with extremely short hair because they have ringworm.  At the same time, I felt convicted that Jesus did not shy away from lepers and Katie from Kisses from Katie, did not worry about ringworm.
          It’s hard to balance reckless love with “common sense.”  However, just writing that sentence is a contradiction.  Reckless love is reckless.  Love is gross.
          This morning’s organized activities started with songs and then the Firy Furnace story.  All of the kids sat on a big green cloth as they watched us act out the story.  I played the Golden Statue.

          The real insanity began when we got out the craft supplies.  I sat in the middle of one of three circles of kids and helped demonstrate the steps to make the furnace.  It was hard to stay patient when the kids all shoved their frames in my face and demanded glue.  Chaos ensued when we ran out of little black men.  The craft people could not cut them out fast enough to give every kid three.  I kept saying “okati ninshu” (one minute) over and over again to try to make the kids wait.  As we waited for more men to be cut out, the kids began asking all of us to write our names on their projects.  They also started doing creative things with tissue paper. 
          In an attempt to calm things down, I had some boys pile up the scrap paper, so it could be easily thrown away.  Eventually everyone had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, plus the angel.  Some kids actually put extra men in the furnace, which was funny.
          Before lunch, we sent most of the children outside, so those living in the Faith House could share their stories.  The boys sat on the floor, while my team and I perched on beds.  Again, I was struck by the disparity.  I don’t deserve or desire to be put on a pedestal. 
          Anyways, the following stories really shook me up inside.

Rekesh (13, 6th class)- His mother died of a disease when she was still breast-feeding Rekesh’s sister.  As a result, his sister got sick and died too.  One day, his father went to the shower, fell into the septic tank, and drowned.  Not long after, his brother also fell into some water and drowned.  Before coming to Sarampet, Rehesh was living in a hostel.  While at the hostel, he had to work during breaks from school in order to pay for the supplies he needed.  When Rehesh’s uncle heard of Sarampet from Mahesh’s church elder, he wanted Rehesh to come there too.  He was already at Sarampet when he found out his father and brother died.  Now, Rehesh studies well and wants to go into the military.  He asks for prayer for his studies.

Mahesh (14, 9th class)- Both of his parents died of HIV.  His mother died in 2004; his father in 2005.  He lived with an aunt for a while before coming to Bethel in 2006.  He wants to be a police chief now and asks for prayer for his studies.

Pavamkumar (14, 8th class) and Bhanu Prasad (12, 7th class)- Their father was a mason who left to work in another state.  While there he had stomach pains and then died.  Neither boy knew that their father died for a long time.  They did not get to attend the funeral.  After their father’s death, Pavam and Bhanu’s mother was depressed.  She wasted away and died two years later.  The boys’ widowed grandmother tried to care for them.  She took them to a hostel, but Pavam got sick while there.  Then, she heard of Sarampet and brought the boys there.  She ended up feeling God calling her to stay and care for the boys and other orphans.  Now Pavam is happy that he is with his grandmother. 

Bhanu remembers having fun and eating well with his family.  He also remembers going hungry after his parents died until he came here.  Though Bhanu is doing better, he has a strange problem.  While at the previous hostel, he passed out in the washroom and was not found for three hours.  When he finally woke up, he did not remember anything, but was hungry because he missed dinner.  Now, he occasionally goes “dumb” and silent for a few days at a time.  Pray for his heath and studies.  He wants to be a police officer.

Ajay (15, 8th class) and Vijay (14, 6th class)- Vijay cannot remember his story or anything about his parents.  He is a bit “off” and has trouble with the other kids because he laughs intensely at times.  Still, he does well in school.  Ajay was 2 and Vijay was in the womb when their father committed suicide by jumping off the roof.  There had been a serious fight in the family.  When Ajay was 8, his mother also had problems with the family.  She poured oil over herself and burned herself to death.  She went to the hospital first and died later.  Neither boy ever saw her or got to say goodbye.  After their mother’s death, the boys stayed with their grandmother for one year before coming to Sarampet.  Now, they are happy.  Two uncles come to visit them occasionally.  Pray for their studies and for Ajay to be able to overcome the corruption, so he can become a police officer.

          After hearing the boys’ stories, we prayed over them.  I could not contain my tears.  In fact, I had to go collect myself before returning to play with the kids.  Ideally, I could have taken a walk to think everything through, but one minute under the mosquito net was all I had.
          Literally, all of today’s stories were intensely overwhelming.  It is unreal to me what these boys went through, yet they are joyful.  Amazing.  It’s all because of Christ’s love being poured out on them by some of the most sacrificial people I’ve ever met.  The pastors and widows caring for these children are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Hope you enjoyed my Monday Made It and the orphan stories.  Time for me to go get ready for my FIRST DAY BACK!!!  AAAHHHH!!!


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