Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stone Spring Elementary

This semester I have decided to take on volunteering at Stone Spring Elementary School on some Mondays, and every Wednesday and Thursday.  It is a blast and is so helpful for me to get to see a teacher in action, and actually teach a little myself.

Today has been a LONG day (to say the least).  I woke up (late) to be (late) to a presentation by 7:30.  This is so not like me.  If you know me, you know I like to be punctual.  I like sleep as well, but punctuality is my strong suit.  Well not this morning...  The presentation went great.  (I was there right before we were schedule to present.)

Later, my classes dragged on.  Luckily I got to have lunch with one of the girls in my small group, Abby.  Abby is amazing and I have so much to learn from her.  Val also passed by halfway through lunch, so we invited her to come enjoy the beautiful weather as we talked about my plans for Italy next semester.  (See!)

I was exhausted after my math class which ends at 1:10 pm.  I know it was only 1:10 pm, but still.  Then I went to send my absentee ballot in!  I was so excited.  Voting in the presidential election for the first time.  Finally I changed and headed to Stone Spring for the end of the day.

Today was a short of catch up day for the kids.  Lots of them were doing math or science.  They have benchmark tests tomorrow, so they were getting ready for that as well.  To say the least I LOVE these kids.  I have only worked with them for 4 weeks, but I am getting to know them so well.  I was feeling a little overwhelmed working with 5 kids at once on different math problems (they all were on different sections of the packets).  It was frustrating when I couldn't figure out how to best explain something and when I had to go back and continually ask the teacher, Mrs. Elliott (she's awesome!) for guidance.  I know I'm not a teacher yet, but I like to think I kind of know what I'm doing.

I stayed with the stragglers while they worked on their math as other students were going on to the writing section of the day (the end of the day).  They were writing letters.  I was so surprised to get TWO letters from students.  This made my day, and made me feel like I was truly having an impact on them, which is my ultimate goal.

Here are the two letters from the little girls:
"Dear Ms. Boyd,
Thank you for coming in every Wednesday and Thursday to help me.  I enjoy you helping me.  I have really liked science this year especially when you came in to help me that one Monday.  I have had a lot of fun with you.  What grade do you want to teach?  What do you like to do when you're not at school?  I hope you like coming to our class.
Sincerely, XXX"
"Dear Mrs. Boyd,
How are you?  Thank you for helping us when we are in need.  I really think you are really nice sweet and kind.  I wish you were here every day cause you are really helpful to me and others.  I really am a good writer and I really admire your helpfulness.  I am happy to have a teacher like you.  I want to thank you really much for your support kindness helpfulness and happyness.  Thank you for every thing that you have done.  I am really happy thank you Mrs. Boyd!  Thank you very much and have a nice time in Stone Spring Elementary in our school.  Have a nice day and the rest of the year thank you!  You are a great help to others and me thank you.
Sincerely, XXX"

Seriously made me so happy.

Just though I'd share how excited I was to get those letters!  Any teachers out there?  Have you gotten letters from your students in the past?  What was your favorite?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Hey everyone,

I am now doing double blog duty.  Not that I've been very good about updating this one anyway... (whoops)!

I am starting a blog about my study abroad adventures in Italy!  Feel free to check it out.  I am so excited to have this opportunity!

Godeve! (Enjoy!)

Ti amo, Italia

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Let hope rise and darkness tremble

This morning I was blessed to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to experience something amazing.  My small group decided to take a trip to Reddish Knob, a mountain top located just an hour west of JMU.  It is right on the boarder of Virginia and West Virginia.  Our purpose?  To praise Christ from the top of His creation during the sunrise.

I can't explain how uplifting and amazing this experience was.  Not only was the beauty of the mountains and sunrise overwhelming, but our voices lifting up His name was just as beautiful.  We drove up, enjoyed the scenery for a while, took tons of pictures, watched the sun rise, and praised Him.

Judy, a girl in my small group, organized worship and played guitar for us.  It was wonderful.  She has been given such a talent and is using it in the best way. One of the songs we sang was "With Everything" by Hillsong.  If you haven't heard this song, or even if you have, consider listening to it.  It is one of my favorites.

Laura, one of our small group leaders, read Psalm 23 (what an amazing promise!) and we headed back to JMU.  We had a few girls leading worship at 9 a.m. for a local church, East Side!  We have so many talented musicians in my small group.

Reflecting on this experience makes me feel so lucky to have an amazing group of girls to worship Him with.  Isaiah 42:10-12 sort of speaks to an experience like this one.

Isaiah 42:10-12:
10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.  11 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains.  12 Let them give glory to the Lord and declare his praise in the coastlands.

That is just want we did - we shouted our song from the top of the mountains!

I'm so glad I have such amazing sisters in Christ to share moments like these with.

The pictures don't do His beauty justice at all, but they are the best I could come up with.