It was a long time ago, but I remember being in fourth grade at Maplewood Christian School in Holland. Mr. Avink was my teacher and he was one of my favorites. He was funny and kind and made everyone feel like they were his favorite student. He smiled a lot. Every week he would put a question on the board for us to investigate or solve on our own. On Friday, we would go up to his desk, one by one, and whisper what we thought was the answer. The prize was always candy corn. It seemed as though he had an endless supply in his desk drawer!
I remember Mr. Avink reading books aloud to our class. While he was reading, he let us make gum wrapper chains (which, after 20+ years of being a teacher myself, I realize this must have been terribly distracting). We chewed a lot of gum that year. I don’t remember any of the book titles he read, but our gum wrapper chains were second to none.
I also remember the Bible stories, the times of prayer, and the talks about how to be more like Jesus on the playground (that was a thing back then, too!). I remember singing and praising God together as a class. Mr. Avink helped us to learn about God and was a wonderful model of a Christ follower for all of us.
Fast forward to today. One of the things I really love about being the principal in the elementary building is that I get to visit classrooms and see the activities and lessons students are working on that will still be part of their memories years from now. It is simply overwhelming to me to think about the opportunity we have here at HCS to plant seeds of faith in these children and help them to grow. What a privilege it is to be part of their journeys in knowing and loving their Creator!
Last week, I recorded a podcast with a few fourth grade students and their teachers. We talked about some of the highlights of fourth grade so far. I hope you’ll take ten minutes to click the link and listen in on our conversation to learn how God is at work in the hearts and lives of students at Hudsonville Christian!