Fun Facts about Van Walton
My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.
My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.
My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.
My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!
I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.
Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.
One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!Friend Van on Facebook
My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
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- 2011 (12)
- 2010 (53)
- 2009 (91)
- 2008 (98)
- 2007 (51)
Proverbs 31 Speakers
Sunday, May 16, 2010
3:37 PM | Posted by Van | | Edit Post
So here I am just a week away from finals and I am evaluating. Thank God and praise Him from whom all blessings flow- I can give my year a #10 on a scale from 1 – 10. Of course so much of my positive evaluation can be credited to the outstanding little school where I teach. I can’t say enough about small schools. They are a place where
everyone knows your name
leadership majors on key priorities
creativity in the classroom and innovation in the process take precedence
And because of these three descriptors, learning and teaching can be fun and productive!
I digress! So what is new?? As I evaluate my year I also realize lesson plans were written for me. My students were not the only ones learning in the classroom. I leaned in my own classroom. I was not the only teacher. My students taught me!
Case in point: I had a few discipline issues.
I deal with my students individually. I know each is different. I know each learns and understands uniquely.
Al is very smart. He is way ahead of the game. Not only is he intelligent, he is a talented athlete, putting him in a special category. He is handsome, likeable, curious, and involved. Oh is he involved- center of attention involved. And if I ignore him, he gathers his corner of the classroom, builds his own platform and takes my students away from me!!
I CAN’T let that happen.
Al and I had a few little talks early in the year. After a while the talk wore off. I contacted his home with a good response. After a while that effort wore off. I sent him into the hall, left the door open and let him learn from his desk outside the door. He begged me to let him back into class.
By mid April- all my efforts had worn off. I put him in time out: a desk reserved for the most incorrigible. A desk that faces my desk, meaning that he faces me! His eyes on me. His mouth open only to my ears. My eyes on his every move and…
one-on-one attention.Now- of course he completed his work. He had no choice. So after I taught my lessons, made my rounds, answered questions, and returned to my desk--- there was Al- finished with his work – lessons completed perfectly and ready for something more.
…more to learn.Al’s basic personality had not changed. He still longed for attention; still sought answers to his myriad of questions. Having no one to talk to, he turned to me- his teacher.
He conjured up subject matter that only deep thinkers consider. He amazed me with the depth of his mind. We talked about God, how He created the earth; about angels, how they fulfill their purpose; about salvation, how it works and is played out in the lives of believers.
Slowly God revealed an interesting picture: the importance and the necessity of discipline. I thought I already knew a lot about discipline and I did- disciplining others. But what about my own need for discipline?
I watched Al submit to authority. I was privy to his heart as he shared his struggles and opened up. Truthfully – these were the lessons I most enjoyed teaching this year.
But what lessons did this teacher learn?
Simple—there have been times in my life when I forced God to discipline me. No, I am not kidding – really! God began with soft forms of discipline. When lite lessons didn’t work, He progressively allowed discomfort to increase. So much so that there have been times in my life when I felt, no I was convinced -- He had cast me out. What I didn’t know – He was not far from me- just "around the corner, in another room." I couldn’t see Him, but He knew where I was. Unfortunately even difficult trials didn’t turn this child’s heart for long.
That is when I forced God to move me into a place apart- apart from the world and all I held dear, apart from my family, friends, and treasures, even apart from my career and my calling!
And there – in that place apart, because I had no distractions, I opened up to my Teacher. He had my complete attention and before long we were deep in discussion. Not only did I talk to Him and ask Him questions I never knew existed he answered - I heard Him talk to me!
So as this year draws to a close, as I sit evaluating the lessons I taught. Whether or not my students learned, I know one thing for sure ---
the lessons my students taught me far outweigh what I taught them!
I owe you a great big thank you- students. You make me smile and help me