That guy who hit the see!

Hey Miss, tell me again about that guy who hit the see! For five years I taught at a school with many nationalities in a deprived area in Rotterdam. No day was the same, every day something special happened at school or in my class. A fight, an angry parent or sleeping children in class. Quite a challenge to turn a new group into a unit of friends every year, with respect for each other and the teacher. And with a good attitude to learning and motivation to do homework. At school it was customary to visit all children in the class at home to see how and where they lived and what the living conditions were like. I always planned a home visit during the afternoon because if I did it after school I could no longer get away from the Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese families. Then I had to join them for dinner and stay all evening. Nice huh! But I didn’t always have time for that, so I walked with the child in question during the afternoon because we had to be back at school after an hour and I could easily complete the visit. The children loved it when I walked with them to their house and proudly showed them their bedroom and the house. I was given the best or sometimes only chair to sit in and had to eat as many cookies as I could. Occasionally I stashed cookies with unusual shapes and flavors in my bag and, when I was completely desperate, I poured the sickly sweet or bitter tea into a plant without being noticed. Unfortunately, during that one home visit, there was only a hanging plant on the wall. The plant pot turned out to be a bit leaky and at a certain point the plant could no longer cope and the tea dripped through the pot and down the wall. I still get red when I think about it, but I really didn’t like the tea. Dealing with children is special. They show you something of God’s character. Children are so wonderfully unapologetic and open, honest and full of confidence. They believe everything you say. They are curious and open-hearted. It is not without reason that Jesus says in Matthew 18: You cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you become like little children. He put a child in the middle, center stage. Jesus was moved by and concerned with children. And He doesn’t say that for nothing. We can learn a lot from children, they forgive easily and quickly become “friends” again, they give money away to charity or share their food with each other, they simply believe what the Bible says and have big dreams. I think children are great and enjoy spending time with them. I had the privilege of telling Bible stories to the children in my class and explaining what God means by them. They loved the stories, they listened with open mouths and in absolute silence. It became very clear that I worked at a real Rotterdam school when I came back to class the next day after I had told about Moses and a boy shouted: Hey teacher, tell me again about that guy who hit the see! What do you want to tell your children? What stories do you pass on? They listen to your stories and see what they work out in your life. Maybe you are the only one who will tell them about Jesus. Let’s not forget to pay attention to the children and put them first.

About Karin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Martin en moeder van 2 geweldige dochters Ingeborg en Lieselot. Leerkracht, coach, leider en dirigent.Gepassioneerd voor goed kinderwerk in elke kerk!

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