Using My Teacher Voice

“Wow, I was using my teacher voice. I actually missed that.”

I couldn’t believe that was a thought from my own brain. Yet, there is was. Even more shocking… it was true. I really had enjoyed using my teacher voice.

This teacher voice, however, was not the stereotypical one my students aren’t supposed to make me use.

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Oh, I have that one, too.

Then the realization dawned… I have more than one teacher voice.

And so do my teacher friends. I have heard many, many teacher voices coming from down the hall and in my own classroom.

There is the teacher voice that yells above a noisy classroom.

A teacher voice that quietly talks to a student about their struggles at the teacher desk.

The teacher voice that is raised in anger.

The teacher voice that is upbeat and cheerful.

A teacher voice that is firm in discipline.

The teacher voice dripping in sarcasm and bordering on disrespect.

A teacher voice that almost sounds like singing – lilting and lyrical.

A teacher voice that is smiling.

A teacher voice that is sad.

The teacher voice that is tired and discouraged.

I’ll admit it.  I’ve too often used the wrong teacher voice. My students got an exasperated voice when they needed a patient one. I taught about main idea and details (for the 500th time) with a tired voice when my students needed interest and energy.

Some days I may feel like Charlie Brown’s teacher projecting wordless, almost intonation-less mumbling in front of a classroom, but in actuality my students hear what I say.  Maybe more importantly, they hear how I say it.

School’s out for the summer, so I’m looking forward to the next year. One goal is to own my teacher voice (all of them) and make conscious efforts to use the one my students need… and leave behind the one they don’t. Do I think I will always succeed? No, but there is the grace of transparency and admitting when I’ve used the wrong voice. When I talk to my students about my voice, they understand their own.

Self-controlled. Lyrical. Firm. Smiling. Sad. Respectful. Laughing. Clear. Strict.

Patient.

Kind.

 

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Friday (Fri-yay) Boggle Challenge

This was a fun way to start the first Friday of state testing. Within 5 minutes my 4th grade ESL class had come up with 25 English words and 3 Spanish words. I’ll admit… I let them use 1-2 letter words, too. Rumor has it that there are at least 35 English and 9 Spanish words in this Boggle board. How many can you find? 

In the Beginning…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Genesis 1:1, 3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

It all starts with God, who created the universe.  Being Creator, He is necessarily Ruler. Being His creations, we must obey Him.

But what happens when the creation sins? What happens when the created look to their Creator and believe that He is a liar, that His laws are unfair, and that He can be defied?

But you, you are to be feared!

Who can stand before you

when once your anger is roused?

From the heavens you uttered judgment;

the earth feared and was still Psalm 76:7-8

Death. Separation. Enmity. For “you shall surely die.”

It all starts with God, and His nature.  His justice, His mercy, His love, His vengeance, His forgiveness are all parts of His perfect incomprehensible character.

And so our Creator made a way that we, the rebellious creation, could be reconciled and forgiven.

Because our Creator made himself known. He took on created flesh without diminishing His divinity. He took on our sin and our punishment to bring us peace.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11