What does an elementary teacher do on a team of doctors?

by: Sarah

For starters I learn heaps of medical vocabulary.  I laugh a lot when I try to regurgitate medical terminology.  I listen to stories that are just not part of normal conversation unless, of course, there are 6 doctors in the room.  These experiences remind me of the interesting moment when a young student bumps into their teacher at Wal-mart and realizes their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.  I feel privileged to have an insiders scoop on the doctor's life outside of the hospital.  If you aren't jealous, you should be!

Aside from life with the doctors I have the sweet honor of spending time with these guys.

A week ago, I gathered the 22 children at our language school who are preparing to leave Albertville, France in the coming month and we talked about how to leave one home well and enter a new home well.  Amongst the 22 kids were 5 McCropders (Anna, Abi, Elise, Micah, Maggie) and a handful of parents to whom I am grateful for their assistance.

“Leaving right is a key to entering right.” 
Pollock and VanReken

Missionary children or third-culture kids will experience uprooting and resettling quite a bit in their young lives as their families leave their home culture, study language, move to a new culture, visit their home culture, and return to the new culture.  There is a constant stream of hellos and goodbyes.  My heart rejoices in the richness of the vast array of relationships and grieves in the loss of those relationships.  Knowing that children experience this roller coaster of hellos and goodbyes I decided to review and use some tools we have to aide us in this process.  As usual, I set out to teach and I received abundantly.  

We did a choral reading of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in which we acted out a time for all things.  I actually thought the kids would jump on the acting part of the choral reading, but they listened and watched.  Anna Fader was a pro at using her theater skills!  

A time to embrace

We smelled good smells and bad smells as an introduction to discussing what we are looking forward to about moving and how we are sad about moving.  I chose stinky cheese (because this is France) and muscle rub for the yucky smells and peppermint and caramel flavoring for the good smells.  In true kid fashion, a few boys said they liked the yucky smells.
We also read Alexander, Who's not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst.
Lastly, we built RAFT's, figuratively, though I did consider having an actual raft building contest just for fun. RAFT is an acronym used to give practical steps for leaving and entering well.

Right Relationships - Say sorry and seek forgiveness in relationships you have acted wrongly
Affirmation - Say thanks to important people
Farewell - Say goodbye to people, places, pets, etc.. 
Think Ahead - Plan for your new home

I will allow the pictures to tell the rest of the story.  But as you think of the McCropders in the coming weeks, please pray for healthy goodbyes and hellos as well as blessed transitions.  


Denise in the World said...

Good job, Sarah! Lots of wisdom and great advice for any of us as we come and go. Praying for you as you finish up in France and get ready for Burundi.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, this is great! Thanks for caring for the kiddos so well. Perhaps a better question is, "What would a team of doctors do without an elementary teacher?" Hope things finish well in France!

Judy said...

Love seeing you with the kids! what important life issues to be helping them with. Good job!

Sarah Lorenz said...

Great lesson!

Cousin Bradley is looking forward to saying hello to Micah and Elise in July!